BNP Paribas

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One of the largest banks in the world. It has been one of the main financial backers of private prison company GEO Group. In 2019, it announced that it would no longer extend funding to the company; however, it is unclear whether it has upheld this commitment.

BNP Paribas is a multinational bank and financial services holding company headquartered in Paris. In 2022, the company served some 30 million customers across the U.S. and 63 other countries and generated $50.9 billion in revenue.

The bank was one of several major financiers of private prison and immigrant detention company GEO Group, having provided it with revolving lines of credit, term loans, and bond underwriting services. These loans were crucial for the company's expansion over the years.

In 2019, following sustained campaigns targeting the major banks that finance CoreCivic and GEO Group, BNP Paribas announced that it would no longer finance private prison companies. Eight additional banks made similar declarations the same year.

As a result, both CoreCivic and GEO Group signed new credit agreements. Unlike in previous years, the companies' disclosures to the Securities and Stock Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding these agreements only named the administrative agent, Alter Domus. While other lenders are also involved, they were not named. Therefore, it is unclear whether BNP Paribas is still involved.

Past Financing of Private Prison Companies

For decades, BNP Paribas and other financial institutions have extended loans and other credit agreements to GEO Group. The company relied on these loans to finance its growth and expansion within the criminal punishment system.

In 2019, GEO Group entered into a new credit agreement that was initially set to expire in 2024. This agreement effectively replaced the company's 2014 credit facility of the same amount, consisting of a $900 million revolving line of credit and a $792 million term loan. As part of a syndicate of banks, BNP Paribas served as the administrative agent and as a lender, contributing an undisclosed amount of money to the deal.

BNP Paribas also served as an underwriter for the following GEO Group bond offerings:

  • April 2016: GEO Group issued $350 million of bonds, with a maturity date of 2026. As part of a syndicate of banks, BNP Paribas underwrote $24.5 million worth of these bonds.
  • September 2014: GEO Group issued $250 million of bonds, with a maturity date of 2024. As part of a syndicate of banks, BNP Paribas underwrote $18.8 million worth of these bonds.
Economic Activism Highlights
  • On April 26, 2017, University of Wisconsin-Madison students passed a resolution to call for the university's divestment from private prisons and corporations that build border walls, naming Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Honeywell, L-3 Communications, Boeing, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, BNP Paribas, Suntrust, US Bank Corp., and Wells Fargo.
Unless specified otherwise, the information in this page is valid as of
11 September 2023