Bank Pembangunan Daerah Jawa Barat dan Banten
Category: Best of the Best By : Ardian Wibisono Read : 226 Date : Wednesday, August 02, 2017 - 11:17:43




Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

When Ahmad Irfan was appointed as commercial director at PT Bank Pembangunan Daerah Jawa Barat dan Banten (BJB) in July 2014, he was actually already acting as the lender’s president director, later officially appointed to that role in December 2014. BJB was in deep trouble back then, as the lender lost three out of four of its board of directors, including the president director, in May after the board failed a fit and proper test for not being prudent. NPLs had climbed to above 4% and profit was in decline.

“There were only two directors at BJB at the time. Besides me as a commercial director, there was the director of compliance. But the director of compliance doesn’t deal with business. So, in effect, I was acting as the president director and made all the business decisions,” Irfan remembers.

The bank was in crisis, as some of the bank’s officials had been brought to court for corruption cases, including an office procurement case that caused the bank to lose its directors in 2014. So, when Irfan was chosen as the new president director in late 2014, he had a big cleanup job ahead of him. Irfan, along with new board directors and commissioners—including former KPK commissioner Taufiqurrachman Ruki as president commissioner—Irfan immediately formulated a plan to rebuild the bank, including slashing NPLs and fixing human resources problems. Even while doing so, he had to also develop a growth plan. Thankfully, the bank had West Java as its province, the most populated province in the country with local growth above that of national GDP.

To explain his approach, Irfan uses the analogy of a plane taking off from an airport. “To fly safely, everything should be well prepared on the ground. There is also a backup engine if anything happens,” he says. The business department represents the cockpit that leads the organization. Credit risk mitigation and legal act as the wings providing stability. “The wings decide whether a business is go or no go, a loan couldn’t be disbursed without approval from both,” Irfan says.

So far, the bank is gaining altitude. Irfan has consistently decreased NPLs and grown profits. As of the end of last year, BJB booked a net profit of Rp 1.6 trillion, up 14% from the previous year’s Rp 1.4 trillion. NPLs were cut to 1.6% last year, down from 2.9% in 2015, even while having loan growth of 14% to Rp 63 trillion. All indicators were better than the average for the local banking industry—with average loan growth of 8% and an over 3% NPL ratio.

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