Impressive Financial Performance of PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia in 2022 Driven by Prudent Risk Management

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PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk (BBRI) has recorded an impressive financial performance throughout 2022, as reflected by the annual profit growth of 67.15% to IDR 51.4 trillion. BRI's success in achieving this outstanding performance is not detached from its prudent risk management. Therefore, the company has strengthened its reserves as a measure of anticipation and risk mitigation in facing future economic challenges.

In detail, BRI's NPL ratio is manageable at 2.67% on a consolidated basis. On the other hand, BRI has prepared sufficient reserves, with an NPL coverage recorded at 305.73%, an increase from 281.16% at the end of 2021. Such adequate reserves are a precautionary step and a risk mitigation effort to face global economic uncertainties, rising inflation and interest rates, as well as potential economic slowdown.

"The good credit quality and sufficient reserves are accompanied by positive credit growth, with total BRI Group credit and financing reaching IDR 1,139.08 trillion at the end of December 2022, in which BRI's microcredit portfolio grew double digits by 13.9% YoY," said BRI's Risk Management Director Agus Sudiarto, as quoted in a press release on Thursday (23/02/2023).

BRI's ability to provide credit and financing is also supported by adequate liquidity and strong capital. This is evident from the consolidated LDR ratio, which was maintained at 87.09% with a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 25.54%.

Agus Sudiarto also revealed that the company's ability to achieve excellent performance must be balanced with prudent business risk management. Therefore, according to him, the top management of the company always takes strategic steps by preparing adequate reserves.

At the end of 2022, BRI prepared an NPL coverage of 305.73%, an increase of about 24.57% from the end of 2021 position of 281.16%. The reserve ratio is considered very adequate, he continued. According to Agus, they have strong reasons to increase reserves.

"This is a precautionary step and a risk mitigation effort to face economic challenges this year such as global economic uncertainties, rising inflation, interest rates, and potential economic slowdown," he said.

Based on the company's data since 2019, BRI has always increased reserve funds. In 2019, BRI prepared reserves of 166.59%, and in the following year, during the pandemic, BRI's reserves rose sharply to 247.98%.

"By mitigating risk, it becomes the company's real commitment to maintaining a healthy and sustainable business. This is one of our values for stakeholders so that trust from all stakeholders can always be maintained with concrete evidence reflected in overall performance," he added.

Separately, banking observer Lando Simatupang expressed a similar opinion. Lando said reserve policies are banks' efforts to mitigate any external potential.

"With relatively high reserve formation, this is a bank's mitigation against the potential global recession that will affect domestic [economy]," he said.

Lando, who previously served as Head of Research at the Indonesian Banking Development Institute (LPPI), assessed that banks may potentially increase their reserves again in 2023. However, if Indonesia can overcome the symptoms of a global recession well, then it may not be necessary to do so.

"For example, if commodity exports continue to grow, the banking industry may still be able to grow and book profits [growth]," he said.

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