Global Business Guide Indonesia

Bank Muamalat Bank Muamalat Bank Muamalat Bank Muamalat Bank Muamalat Bank Muamalat Bank Muamalat Bank Muamalat
Joint Ventures | Business Services
Bank Muamalat | Mr Arviyan Arifin
Mr Arviyan Arifin

To support accelerated growth, we have significantly expanded our network of branch offices in order to deepen our market penetration in locations that had not yet been reached by shariah banking services

Mr Arviyan Arifin, President Director

GBG‘s audience was first introduced to Bank Muamalat in 2011 as the leading standalone Islamic Bank in Indonesia. What can you tell us about the major developments that have taken place at the bank over the last two years?

In 2011, we implemented operational transformations as part of Bank Muamalat’s strategic roadmap that was first launched in 2009. We undertook this course of action in order to ensure that Bank Muamalat will continue to evolve into a stronger entity capable of creating products and developing services that benefit our customers. Our transformational process emphasizes the importance of six main elements, namely positioning, products, distribution, operations, information technology, and risk management. In essence, these six elements are central to our efforts to compete and win market share in the shariah banking industry.

Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of our founding; in 2012 we debuted a new Bank Muamalat logo. This move is indicative of our revitalized and rejuvenated image as a bank quickly transforming into a modern entity centrally located in a fast growing and dynamic society.

We have also given a new touch to our services. Bank Muamalat has developed comprehensive electronic banking transaction capabilities, which now include mobile banking and internet banking systems, to serve both individual and corporate customers via our Cash Management System service.

Furthermore, we have invested in our ATM machine network. Between 2009 and 2013, we increased the number of Bank Muamalat ATMs from 22 units to 1,153 units. These additional units complement our alliance with other banks to provide our services at 39,000 shared (or mutual) ATMs (ATM Bersama), to further enhance ease of accessibility for our customers.

To support accelerated growth, we have significantly expanded our network of branch offices in order to deepen our market penetration in locations that had not yet been reached by shariah banking services. Our network of branches is being distributed evenly to include eastern regions of Indonesia such as Gorontalo, Makassar, Manado, Jayapura, Timika, Kupang and so on. To date, we offer our banking services at 454 offices.

Indonesia’s Islamic banking sector has witnessed spectacular growth over the last few years at some 40% per annum, yet Islamic banking assets remain low at less than 5% of Indonesia’s total banking assets. What do you think will be the main driving forces behind future Islamic banking asset growth in Indonesia for the future?

Services are still a key factor in growing shariah banking assets going forward, both in terms of technology and accessibility that foster timely and reliable support services needed to handle customer concerns.

At Bank Muamalat, we have succeeded in garnering the appreciation of the public by achieving a leading position in the 2013 Indonesian Bank Loyalty Index. To maintain our strong relationships with customers, we employ a management system which divides customers into different segments depending on their individual needs. This division aims to enable the bank to provide specific services to each segment with the ultimate goal of optimizing customer satisfaction through tailor-made products.

After strengthening our foundation of services, from 2013 and 2015 we intend on optimizing our business model and will focus on the business segment of shariah banking to advance our market penetration. This stage of our strategic plan marks the beginning of our goal to become a leader in the shariah compliant banking industry. We are also undertaking intense efforts to ensure our competitiveness in the 2015 ASEAN Economic Community era.

We are determined to be certified as a “Qualified ASEAN Bank (QAB)” in the field of shariah compliant banking by the time that the ASEAN Banking Integration program is implemented in 2020.

The bank’s upcoming IPO presents exciting opportunities for international investors to tap into Indonesia’s rapidly expanding Islamic finance sector. What can you tell us about the objectives and priorities behind the upcoming listing?

Throughout the first semester of this year we undertook a great deal of preparation for the trading floor. Corporate action in the form of a secondary public offering (SPO) complements our previous corporate decisions to strengthen the bank’s capital structure. With strong capital, we will be more expansive in extending financing, especially towards productive sectors whose development will facilitate Indonesia’s economic growth. In addition to this, we plan on continuing to expand our office network and develop branchless banking; distributing our services evenly to all parts of Indonesia. It is also our objective to strengthen infrastructure that supports our information technology resources for a better customer experience.

With that said, we were forced to delay our SPO plans. We are still observing and analysing the state of the macroeconomic environment and the conditions of the capital market. As of right now, we still intend on going forward with our listing on the stock exchange but we have to determine the right time to do so.

Without listing on the exchange, Bank Muamalat will still increase its capital this year by going forward with a rights issue. We hope that economic conditions improve, so that we can go forward with these plans.

As the Islamic banking sector becomes increasingly competitive and shariah units of various banks are spun off, how does Bank Muamalat retain a competitive edge in the market place?

We do not see the increase in the number of BUS and UUS as a threat to our bank. We regard this emergence of shariah banks as a positive trend in the development of shariah compliant banking in a society still dominated by conventional banking principals where Islamic banking assets are still less than 5%. Shariah compliant banks are therefore working together to increase market share by targeting customers who do not currently use shariah banking services.

Bank Muamalat has pioneered shariah compliant investment within frontier industries such as renewable energy and the rural MSME sector. In which industry sectors do you see the greatest opportunities for future lending?

So far, we continue to follow the direction of Bank Indonesia by providing financial support in productive sectors that contribute to the Indonesian economy in line with the government’s priorities. We channel financing to areas such as the energy sector, the construction sector, the SME sector and sectors that facilitate start-up businesses. Going forward, we will remain on this course with a greater focus on infrastructure development associated industries such as power plant projects that have already obtained a Power Purchase Agreement from the relevant state owned enterprises, as well as the service industries for the building of schools and hospitals that are always needed by local communities. We prefer to enter into sectors which are resistant to economic downturns and these form Bank Muamalat’s backbone due to their resilience.

Bank Muamalat is already present internationally through its branch in Malaysia. In the lead up to the ASEAN One Market, how is the bank positioning itself to serve the needs of the regional market and to compete against regional counterparts?

Accessibility is our main focus. We continually strive to develop products that can be accessed globally. In 2011, we launched our retail product Shar-E Gold. This product can be used for transactions in 170 countries without any additional fees. In addition to this, beginning in 2013 we re-launched our internet banking services.

Furthermore, we are the first bank to obtain a full license to do business and offer banking services abroad, as is evidenced by our branches operating in Malaysia. In line with our regional expansion, Bank Muamalat was recognised as the most innovative Islamic bank in the world by Islamic Finance News in March 2013, indicative of growing international recognition of the shariah compliant finance sector in Indonesia.

Recruiting and obtaining qualified human resources for the Islamic banking industry is regarded as a one of the main hurdles to the sector’s future growth. How is Bank Muamalat combatting this issue within human resources training?

Bank Muamalat has continued to increase its number of employees to keep pace with the company’s business growth in recent years. In 2010, we employed 2,946 workers, which grew to 3,556 workers in 2011. By the end of 2012, we had 4,933 employees on staff.

Our education and training programs allow Bank Muamalat employees to develop the hard and soft skills necessary to improve their performance and support the realisation of the bank’s strategic goals.

Officer level employee training is achieved through the Muamalat Officer Development Program (MODP), undertaken by newly recruited college graduates irrespective of their level or rank within the company. The MODP training process is constantly being developed to keep pace with the needs of our business development strategy. In 2012, we developed specialised MODP training for a variety of functions, including auditing, funding, operations, and financing consumers. We have also set up a special training program, the Consumer Academy Program, to support our plans of expanding into the consumer segment.

What should Global Business Guide Indonesia’s audience remember about Bank Muamalat as a final message?

We are a financial institution that engages in business activities based on the teachings of Islam. We wish to build an economy that is more cultured, while also making sure to meet the needs of an increasingly modern society. We constantly strive to improve and offer services with the highest degree of professionalism. Because of this, we would like people to remember us as a financial institution that is Islamic, Modern and Professional.