Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Jakarta, Indonesia, Apr 1, 2013 - (ACN Newswire) - Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) has been urged to save its 100-year history and current reputation as Indonesia's as well as the world's largest micro financing institution after a gnawing scandal involving its South Jakarta branch personnel tarnished its solid image.

"The severest sanction must be slapped on (BRI's personnel involved in the scandal). But the most educative sanction is when the bank gives back the gold that has been embezzled," Ahmad Iskandar, a Jakarta-based noted banking observer, told journalists here, on Friday.

BRI boasts the most extensive branch network of more than 4,000 retail outlets at the sub-district level nationwide.  With net income jumping to 18.5 trillion rupiah ($1.9 billion) in 2012, the bank's largest profit on record since 2000, BRI plans to sell $500 million to $1 billion of global bonds in the 2013 first quarter. 

Iskandar added if BRI kept its feet dragging approach on its responsibility to the disadvantaged client then the bank could expect a quick, negative repercussion smashing its reputation and image at home and internationally. 

BRI independent commissioner Adhyaksa Dault has also requested BRI management to amicably settle the case with Ratna Dewi, a 34-year business woman, who had been lured into signing some dubious documents with BRI. In September 2012, BRI senior empolyees had also asked her to relinquish the key of her personal deposite box, according to police investigation.

"I ask police to move on with the investigation of this case. What is at stake is not only BRI's reputation but also the state bank's as well," Mr. Dault, a former sport and youth minister in the cabinet of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, told media.

Dewi filed a criminal report with the Jakarta police for the loss of 59 kilograms of pure gold she had on deposit in BRI's South Jakarta branch in September 2012. Based on the price of the gold when the case surfaced, her loss is up to IDR 32 billion (approximately $3.2 million).

BRI Corporate Secretary Mohammed Ali has promised to return Dewi's entire loss if its employees involved in the scandal have been indicated guilty of the crime. "The management is very serious about punishing severely our employees involved if they are proven to be guilty in the case," Ali told journalits.

The Jakarta police has so far questioned some BRI senior employees and members of the management, including, President Director Sofyan Bashir. Two of the three prime suspects in the scandal have been in police custody, another one is still in hospital for heart treatment.

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Bambang Purwanto
Deputy Chief Editor
ANTARA News Agency
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