Financial Services Authority –OJK will revise a regulation No. 39/2017 about single bank ownership or single presence policy. Based on the regulation, each party can only become a controlling shareholder of one bank. The ownership of two banks can be done if one of them is a mixed bank or a bank with sharia principles. If the controlling shareholder of a bank wants to take over another bank, he or she is obliged to choose one option through mergers, parent formation in the banking, or holding function.
This regulation aims to encourage banks to compete in Indonesia and abroad. Many banks in Indonesia are difficult to compete because they have little capital. There are still a large number of banks with little capital in Indonesia. The number of commercial banks in Indonesia currently reaches 115 banks. Although it has experienced a significant decline from the previous 250 banks, the number of 115 banks is still too many. Indonesia is ranked first as the country with the highest number of banks in Southeast Asia. The large number of banks in Indonesia is caused by banking deregulation policy in the New Order era. During the New Order era, establishing a new bank only needed capital worth Rp 10 billion.
Since the stipulation of the regulation No. 39/2017, the number of banks is still stagnant at 115. This means that there are no banks that have merged. Even if banks form a parent company, or merge, they will have large capital and they are able to be competitive.
Why aren't any small banks merging according to OJK regulations, even though the condition of the bank is unable to compete?
The factor of obligation to merge, and the establishment of a holding company are considered to be a barrier. Thus, the plan to revise the single presence policy is expected to provide flexibility for the controlling shareholders of a bank to choose other options besides mergers and the establishment of a holding company.
If the OJK does not revise regulation No. 39/2017, OJK needs to provide banking incentives. In addition, the OJK also needs to be firmer in encouraging banks to merge.