The Representative Council of France's Black Associations, an organization of African and Caribbean groups within France, said it would launch a lawsuit against the bank Monday, Slavery Remembrance Day in France.
"The CDC was an accomplice to a crime against humanity. It played a considerable role in the slave trade," said council President Louis-Georges Tin.
France is the only country to recognize the trans-Atlantic slave trade as a crime against humanity, and thus remembers it with a holiday, Radio France Internationale said.
Tin said the amounts France earned in the slave trade, paid through the CDC between 1825 and 1946, amounts to $20.7 billion in today's money.
Legal experts say the lawsuit has little possibility of making headway, RFI noted, and the council's lawyer, Norbert Tricaud, admitted as much, saying, "If we are presenting this suit, it is to promote debate."