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AwardsAsia Private Banking Awards

Best domestic private bank in Indonesia 2021

Bank Rakyat Indonesia

Handayani, Bank BRI.jpg
Handayani, Bank Rakyat Indonesia

In the 126 years that Indonesia’s oldest bank has been in operation, BRI more than earned its “People’s Bank” status in the local popular imagination. It is hard to find a business, homeowner, executive or market player who doesn’t have some kind of direct relationship with BRI, or Bank Rakyat Indonesia.

The bank serves its more than 130 million customers via 6,500 branches in 44 provinces in the world’s fourth-most populous nation. It’s all part of BRI’s ambition to become southeast Asia’s most valued institution.

For all its scale, though, much of the real energy at BRI these days can be found among the just over 800 clients tended to by Handayani, director of consumer at the bank.

Despite the tumultuous impact of the pandemic, BRI’s wealth management division turned in solid financial growth last year. The bank recorded a 26% boost in fee-based income in 2020, as total assets under management continued a decade-long upswing to nearly $9 billion, a rise of over 2% year on year.

The opportunities are also huge. Though Covid-19 is hurting top-line gross domestic product, southeast Asia’s biggest economy continues to exude growth potential. Indonesia’s financial elite, like their peers elsewhere in Asia, are seeing their portfolios swell while the pandemic sets back living standards for the masses.

For foreign investors keen to harness Indonesia’s potential, BRI offers the best of virtually all worlds. Its private banking team operates from 19 regional offices across the archipelago. That even includes a handful of ships to reach clients on remote islands.

The pandemic is accelerating opportunities to grow, particularly among startups. As many as 70 of BRI’s high net worth clients are entrepreneurs in a nation that’s outpacing Japan and South Korea in churning out tech unicorns.

BRI is well-positioned to capture these clients. Its scale offers would-be disruptors a big network of subsidiaries to leverage for services and expertise. That includes unparalleled succession planning and wealth transfer strategies.

Even more lucrative is BRI’s assertive push into venture capital funding. In November, BRI teamed up with BRI Ventura Investama to cooperate on business planning and development through financing and equity participation deals. The catalyst for the union is the parade of tech IPOs from names such as Gojek and Tokopedia, which merged in May to form GoTo Group, Indonesian e-commerce firm Bukalapak, travel platform Traveloka and payments service provider OVO.