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French banks during WWI conjure up, in the collective memory, images of the expressive lithograph posters promoting the great National Defence Loans. Although banks in France, under the guidance of the government, provided tremendous support in terms of financing the war and reconstruction efforts, their role and day-to-day history during the war went beyond those contributions. The massive mobilisation of bank employees of all levels resulted in the heavy loss of life on the front lines. In material terms, banking institutions had to contend with the destruction or requisition of agencies and the disruption of their branch networks. All the while, banks continued to provide the support required by the front lines from the home front, particularly in terms of mutual assistance. In social terms, the advent of a large female workforce and of wage-related issues sparked by the onset of inflation brought about irreversible changes. More generally, the war and its aftermath had a lasting impact on the structure of France s financial system particularly the banking sector, as key players, activities and business regions vanished or emerged. The present exhibition illustrates these trends as well as little- known aspects of the daily lives of France s banking institutions. It is based on the historical archives preserved by five banking groups and by the French Ministries of the Economy and Finance: unseen archives that are perhaps familiar to researchers but seldom viewed by the general public.