A Brief History of BNI




Rich in history, strong financial health, excellent human resources, and reliable technology, BNI certainly has been on the right track to become a national bank with global capabilities.


Established on July 5th1946, PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk or BNI was the first state-owned bank that was established after the independence of Republic of Indonesia. Conceived during the struggle for independence, BNI had functioned both as central and commercial banks, as stipulated in Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No. 2/1946, before finally operating exclusively as a commercial bank in 1955. Oeang Republic of Indonesia or ORI was the first official method of payment issued by the Government of Indonesia on October 30th1946, and was printed and distributed by BNI.


The appointment of De Javasche Bank in 1949, inherited from the Dutch Government to serve as the central bank, took over BNI’s prior role as the central bank. Following the appointment, BNI was assigned the role of Indonesia’s development bank and granted the right to act as a foreign exchange bank in 1950 with direct access to facilitate foreign transactions. The first BNI overseas branch office opened in Singapore in 1955.


The role of BNI in supporting the growth of Indonesian economy became more prominent with its formulation of a strategic initiative to serve every part of Indonesia from Sabang to Merauke. In the 1960s, BNI introduced a wide range of banking services, such as Bank Terapung, Bank Keliling, Bank Bocah, and Bank Sarinah. The main purpose of Bank Terapung is to serve the people who live in groups of islands, such as Riau Islands, as well as other areas inaccessible by land transport, such as remote parts of Borneo. BNI also launched Bank Keliling, a banking service that spearheaded the proactive effort to encourage people to save by traveling to customers in using BNI vehicles.


In compliance to Law No.17 of 1968, BNI's main duties as a commercial bank under the name of Bank Negara Indonesia 1946 are to improve the welfare of the people and to participate in national economic development.


BNI realizes the importance of customer segmentation from the beginning, manifested in the conception of Bank Sarinah that caters especially to women and features women-only bank employees, as well as Bank Bocah, which aims to educate children on the importance of developing early saving habits. As part of the education purpose, services at Bank Bocah are also provided by children. In fact, since 1963, BNI has pioneered banking services in universities with the opening of Cash Support Office at Universitas Sumatra Utara (USU) in Medan. Currently, BNI has offices at almost all public and private universities in Indonesia.


BNI constantly repositions its corporate identity to adapt to dynamic financial markets. Its first corporate identity was represented with a red circle imbued with '1946 BNI' in gold, symbolizing unity, courage, and patriotism, which reflected the spirit of BNI as Indonesia’s developing bank. In 1988, BNI adopted the famous sail and wave logo to represent BNI as a state-owned bank who is ready to enter the world's financial markets with the opening of overseas branches. The wave element reflected BNI's dynamic advancement in its role as a market-oriented state-owned commercial bank.


Following the Asian financial crisis of 1998 that shook public confidence in national banking system, BNI restructuring program included rebranding to build and strengthen its reputation. This new identity was reflected by the placement of '46' in front of the word 'BNI', now in turquoise,which represented strength, uniqueness, and robustness. The orange box containing the number 46was placed diagonally to establish the image of a new, modern BNI.



Increasing Shareholder Value


BNI achieved another milestone by going public and listing on Jakarta Stock Exchange (JSX) and Surabaya Stock Exchange (BES) in 1996. BNI became the first public state-owned bank in the history of national banking.


In conjunction with the government's divestment program, BNI issued new shares in 2007 and 2010 through limited public offering (rights issue) to increase the composition public shareholders to 40%. The increased public ownership provided BNI with the motivation to continue to improve its performance and provice more value to shareholders.


Globalization places a demand on the banking industry to constantly improve its capacity to provide banking solutions to all customers. BNI has historically focused on corporate banking, and supported by strong retail banking infrastructure. Today, BNI continues to improve the capitalization of both to promote both aspects as BNI's core strength.



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