Monday, 8 April 2013


Although Indonesia’s economy tends to be stable, the Europe’s economic crisis and United States economic slowdown makes Bank Indonesia take a watchful attitude.

High credit risk and increase of Rupiah inter­est rate are ones of the causes of decline of capital adequacy ratio (CAR). Even though result of Bank In­donesia’s stress test on banking portfolio of first se­mester of 2012 shows that banks are able to absorb these risks, bankers must be continually watchful as these risks ere potential to cause decline of CAR. So far, CAR position is still above the minimum require­ment at 8%. This high rate of CAR can support banks in risk absorption.

Based on result of research conducted by Bank Indonesia, state-owned banks and regional de­velopment banks (BPD) are those who are most sensi­tive to credit risk and increase of Rupiah interest rate.

Increase of non-performing loans (NPL) will reduce CAR of BPD by 3.26% and CAR of state-owned banks by 2.53%. And, increase in Rupiah in­terest rate will reduce CAR of BPD by 3.55% and CAR of state-owned banks by 2.71%.

Bank Indonesia also recorded that state-owned banks and foreign bank branches (KCBA) are sensitive to risk of weakening of state debentures. Fall of state debenture prices continue to reduce CAR of state-owned banks by 2.26% and of foreign bank branches by 2.6%. This is as a consequence of calcu­lation of mark to market where state debenture value declines due to market value.

Meanwhile, risk of exchange rate weakening mostly affects joint venture banks and foreign bank branches. CAR decline of joint venture banks is 0.36% and of foreign bank branches is 0.52%, as of end of September 2012, CAR position of state-owned banks is 16.81%, regional development banks 17.75%, joint venture banks 18.5%, and foreign bank branches 27.42%.

In the present condition, bankers should be more cautious in distributing credit as an attempt to maintain loan quality to remain current. Banks must also place excess of fund in low-risk securities, even though the yield is relatively low. The reason is that banks must gain as maximum profit as possible so they could increase their capital independently.

Banking is a capital-intensive industry. To avoid credit and market risk, bank owners and share­holders must continually strengthen banks capital. One of the options is that bankers can ask the share holders to reduce portion of dividend as part of net profit allocated for capital strengthening to support business expansion and increase of risk absorption.

Banks must also be watchful to external con­sequences. If there is volatility, such as a mass demonstration, NPL risk from industry sector will increase because production is disturbed. And, export decline due to economic slowdown in Europe and China is potential to disturb banking business so borrowers ability to meet their obligations will be declining.

Capital strengthening becomes important considering that Bank Indonesia will issue a new regulation regarding bank's capital. Banks operating domestically cannot freely open new branches. Bank Indonesia will adjust banks business activities and distribution of office networks to banks capital ca­pacity.

Regulation concerning Banks Business Activi­ties and Office Networks is arranged to adjust banks business activities and distribution of office networks to capital capacity of the banks. This is stated In the Performance Report on of Bank Indonesia’s Tasks end Authorities of Third Quarter of 2012.

The regulation, which will be released soon, is in accordance with Indonesian Banking Architecture (API). Even though it is quite successful in increasing sustainability of Indonesian banking, API programs are continually perfected. The scope of perfection of API is not limited to program implementation, but It also includes sharpening of vision.

This regulation is set forth in the Policy Con­cerning Indonesian Banking Structure (Pillar 1). Pillar 1 policy is aimed to create a healthy banking struc­ture. All policies related to Pillar 1 are contained in the policy package on increase of banking sustainability and competitiveness.

There are several aims of the regulating of bank? Business activities and office networks. Firstly, to increase sustainability and competitiveness of national banking through strengthening of risk management, governance, and efficiency. Secondly, to build a conducive banking system for increase of banking contribution in economy and expansion of banking service areas, especially in underbanked areas.

Thirdly, to boost realization of banking co­ordination to strengthen national banking industry. Fourthly, to increase banks? sustainability through suitability of capital access to business activities and office networks. This Bank Indonesia policy is in the process of making and is predicted to be issued by the end of 2012.

Other matters concerning API policy in pillar 1 are, amongst others: Firstly, to increase optimization of banking Intermediation in various commercial sectors which are potential and have a strategic role in supporting the economy.

Secondly, to Increase suitability of product development and banks activities to scale, character­istic, competency, and preparedness of banks? infra­structures. Thirdly, to support a more even distribu­tion of economic growth by re-regulating licensing, opening of office networks, and by increasing prin­ciple of reciprocity in the opening of office networks in other countries.

From the above description, it is clear that banking regulators expect Indonesian banking to be­come stronger and healthier through capital strength­ening to be able to anticipate every potential risk, es­pecially credit risk, operational risk, and market risk.

The bigger the capital is, the stronger a bank will be in absorbing potential crisis. And, the more aggressive the bank will be in distributing credit to accelerate the real sector. This is the essence of banks? Capital strengthening.

Business News - November 23, 2012

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