Current affairs

Indonesia's economic trends as perceived by the bank's customer service



Documents required to open an account at BCA Bank

The other day I opened a bank account at BCA Bank in the basement of Grand Indonesia for the first time in a long time, and instead of just opening an account with KITAS like in the past, they asked me to find out about my current company and apartment, which made it seem like a light interview.

Rather, it's just a license and a stamp (or is it my number now?) Isn't it more difficult to open an account than in Japan?

The three required documents are as follows.

  1. KTP (Kartu Tanda Pendududuk) :If you're a foreigner, it's usually KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Sementara)
  2. Domisili :Certificate of Location
  3. NPWP (Nomor Pokok Wajib Pajak):Taxpayer Identification Number

The sister of the customer service pointed out the point where KITAS expired just this month, and because I didn't have NPWP, I was a little troubled.

  • I'll call you next month, so make sure you bring it right

I like this kind of generosity from Indonesia.

Besides this, you need Matrai (revenue stamp) of 6,000 rupiah and minimum deposit amount of 500,000 rupiah for the first time, and you need to write your name and signature on several application forms, but it's easy because customer service lady will kindly instruct you. The female staff at the BCA is friendly and witty, which is fun to talk to.

At the end, they made me install the net banking application on my smart phone, and I thought it was all done, but they handed me a questionnaire form without a moment's delay.

  • I'm so happy if you check this off as Excellent

I couldn't help but smile when he asked me to give it to him in a sweet voice, but I gave it an excellent rating as requested.

On the same day, I upgraded my cash card at CIMB Niaga Bank on Tharin Street, but as expected, I had a hard time turning down the barrage of credit card and life insurance solicitations.

This may be due to the fact that the industry's third largest Net Profit in 2015 was up 9.3% year on year, while the industry's fifth largest, CIMB Niaga, was down 81%, but the fact that CIMB Niaga was offered a fixed rate of 8% for a further three years when the interest rate on time deposits was already higher at 6.5% for CIMB Niaga (one month) compared to 4.75% for BCA (one month) is disconcerting. CIMB Niaga is pretty good.

It may be an enviable story from Japan, which has entered the era of negative interest rates, but I can't recommend it in the short term because the exchange risk of the rupiah is too high, even if you are a rupiah holder.

Strengthening of foreign currency regulations for Indonesian companies

The fact that they can offer such a high interest rate means that they are lending to domestic companies at a higher interest rate than what they would have deposited, so everyone would think of borrowing at a lower interest rate in Japan and other countries and investing in Indonesia, but in the past few years, foreign currency restrictions on domestic companies have been tightened.

  1. Domestic trading is done in basic rupiah.
  2. Hedging obligations for foreign currency denominated offshore debt (foreign currency borrowings from overseas)

The idea that 20% of current assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies should be hedged by costly derivatives (currency futures, currency swaps, and options) means that "Don't let the private sector borrow money from overseas without permission because it will interfere with our interest rate policy".

Looking at the buildings under construction and super blocks under development in Jakarta and Cikarang, it's like watching a country's economic development live, and even as a foreigner, I get excited.

I don't know if it is because of the rush to consume more and more while the salary is going up and the mood is high in the uncertain economic trend, but Kota Kasablanka mall was very crowded today.