State-owned Banks 'Solid' ahead of ASEAN Economic Community  

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  • Direktur Utama Bank BNI Gatot M Suwondo. TEMPO/Imam Sukamto

    Direktur Utama Bank BNI Gatot M Suwondo. TEMPO/Imam Sukamto

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Gatot Suwondo, president director of PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk—or BNI, said that state-owned banks are quite solid in welcoming the, the 2020 ASEAN Economic Community for the banking sector. National state-owned banks, he said, already have branches in Indonesia's remote areas.

    "In preparation of the AEC, state-owned banks are ready," he said in Jakarta yesterday.

    Gatot said the main problem faced by national banks is a matter of distribution. Out of 119 banks in Indonesia today, many are concentrated in the island of Java, with only a handful of banks have offices in remote districts. This is something that needs addressing as large foreign banks can compete by establishing branches in unexplored provinces and districts.

    According to Gatot, Indonesia should not be afraid of regional banking consolidations in 2020. He said that Indonesian banks have always been able to compete in the industry. In the face of the AEC, he said, rather than just one large bank Indonesia would strive better by having four major banks as it does today.

    "It's better to have four but we can compete with each other," he said.