TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Sigit Pramono, chairman of the Indonesian National Bank Association, said that Indonesian banks urgently need a blueprint for banking planning. Indonesia, Sigit said, is already two steps behind neighboring countries Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand when it comes to planning the future of state banks.
Without a long-term plan, Sigit said, Indonesian banks will be further left behind by its regional neighbors. Banking long-term plan includes, among others, careful planning of the number of state banks the country must have in the period of 2020-2030.
Without a blueprint, reinforcing the banking industry through consolidation, acquisitions, or mergers will easily be disputed by various parties. "In this country, even banks that have the same owners (state-owned banks) are receiving challenges here and there. This is because there is no clear support," said Sigit.
The first and only time Indonesia merged banks was in 1998 after the Asian financial crisis. At that time, the government decided to consolidate four state-owned banks into what is now Indonesia's biggest bank, Bank Mandiri.