French insurer AXA has entered an agreement in principle to acquire BNP Paribas's Internet and phone banking subsidiary Banque Directe.
The deal is a strategic move for BNP Paribas, which implementated a multi-channel banking service in July 2001, mitigating the added value of its Banque Directe business. The Group says it is also looking to concentrate on developing its activities in specialised financial services such as consumer credit, leasing, fleet management and brokerage for individual savings.
According to AXA, Banque Directe will complement the insurance company's financial offering in France by providing a well established banking platform to its clients and its distribution networks.
The agreement is pending the outcome of talks with employees representatives and the approval of the banking regulators. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Earlier this year, BNP Paribas acquired German online broker Consors Discount Brokerage, which is to be merged with the French bank's Cortal Internet brokerage business.