NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 1, 2010) - At the outset of the financial crisis in August, 2007, the Federal Reserve Bank encouraged the nation's four largest depository institutions to access the Discount Window. The coordinated action was intended to be a sign to the market that the facility should be used to alleviate any strains in the banking system. To supplement this program, the Federal Reserve Bank also initiated a number of facilities designed to promote stability in the marketplace. These facilities served as a mechanism to recycle liquidity during a time of heightened stress and provided an efficient manner to deal with market dislocations.

Fortis Bank utilized the Term Auction Facility (TAF) regularly from February, 2008 through January, 2010, one month before the facility was closed. 

Fortis Bank also used the Commercial Paper Funding Facility created in October, 2008 for both its asset-backed commercial paper and its unsecured commercial paper programs. The facility was used from October, 2008 through July, 2009 and closed approximately six months later.

It should be noted that Fortis Bank integrated with BNP Paribas in May, 2009. The new entity, BNP Paribas Fortis, is 75% owned by BNP Paribas and 25% owned by the Belgium government. This change has brought about more liquidity to the institution. As a result, BNP Paribas Fortis has not needed any extra liquidity assistance from any Federal Reserve program for almost one year. Today the name has been well received by many market participants and trades at attractive levels relative to comparable issuers. BNP Paribas Fortis continues to closely monitor its liquidity risk and performs liquidity stress testing on a regular basis.

About BNP Paribas:
BNP Paribas ( is one of the six strongest banks in the world* and the largest bank in the eurozone by deposits. With a presence in more than 80 countries and more than 200,000 employees, including 160,000 in Europe, BNP Paribas is a leading European provider of financial services on a worldwide scale. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. In Retail Banking, the Group has four domestic markets: Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated model across the Europe-Mediterranean zone and boasts a large network in the United States. BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending in Europe. In its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia.

* Rated AA by Standard & Poor's i.e. 3rd rating level on a scale of 22.

Contact Information:

Edwina Frawley-Gangahar
212 841 3719