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The history of PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk (“BRI”, “Bank”, or “Perseroan”) were started in 1895 in Purwokerto, Central Java, by Raden Aria Wiriatmaja, originally to manage mosques’ cash, to be distributed to the public using a simple scheme.
Throughout the history, various names have been attached to BRI, beginning with “Hulp en Spaarbank der Inlandsche Bestuurs Ambtenaren”, Hulp en Spaarbank der Indlandsche Bestuurs Ambtenareen, Syomin Ginko, and finally, officially established as Bank Rakyat Indonesia on 18 December 1968 by virtue of Law No. 21 Year 1968.
In 1992, BRI changed its legal status to PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) by virtue of the Banking Law No. 7 Year 1992 and listed its stocks on Jakarta Stock Exchange, now the Indonesia Stock Exchange, on 10 November 2003, with the stock code BBRI. In 2007, BRI undertook a strategic step by acquiring Bank Jasa Artha (BJA), which was then converted into PT Bank BRISyariah.
BRI Syariah Business Unit then was spun-off from BRI and merged into PT Bank BRISyariah (BRI Syariah) on January 1, 2009, and then on March 3rd, 2011 BRI acquired the shares of PT Agro Niaga Tbk from Dana Pensiun Perkebunan (Dapenbun).
Since its establishment, BRI consistently focuses on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), and became the pioneer of microfinance in Indonesia. The Bank maintains its commitment until today, and with the support of its experience in delivering banking services, especially in the MSME segment, BRI has recorded the achievement as the most profitable bank in 15 consecutive years. Such an achievement is the result of all BRI employees’ hard work who have ceaselessly innovate and develop the banking products and services for all business segments.
By conducting innovations, BRI is able to respond to any developments in society and the business world. One of them is the technology development. BRI is the first to provide self-service banking in Indonesia through BRI Hybrid Banking in 2013.
BRI also brought its technologybased banking services to every corner of the country, including to the small islands of the archipelago. In 2015, BRI launched Teras BRI Kapal, the world’s first ever seafloating banking service. Then, in 2016, a new history was made. On June 18, 2016 18:38 pm Kourou time, French Guiana, BRI launched BRIsat, making it the first bank in the world that owns and operates its own satellite. The procurement of this satellite was part of BRI’s strategic plan to strengthen the supporting infrastructure for digital services of the future, which could offer quality banking technology from the center of the city to the remote areas of the nation.
In order to provide the best service for its customers, BRI increased the number of ATM machines up to 19,184 units, with the number of EDC of 204,386 units, and the number of CRM of 3,809 units, including 422,160 BRILink agents. These E-channel networks that are spread across Indonesia are the proof of BRI’s consistency in reaching the unreachable. Network expansion also continues. To strengthen its business existence in the global arena, BRI has opened its overseas units. In 2015, BRI opened an overseas branch office in Singapore, adding to the existing overseas unit, such as BRI New York Agency, BRI Cayman Island Branch, Hong Kong Representative Office, and BRI Remittance Hong Kong. In 2017, BRI opened a branch office in Timor Leste.
To address the market developments and the variety of people’s needs for financial products and services, BRI aimed to become an integrated financial service group, namely a group of companies that provide various financial services to its customers, in banking, insurance, remittance and other financial services.
BRI’s elaboration on the insurance and financing segments became more evident in 2015, as BRI added new members engaging in insurance business by acquiring PT Asuransi Jiwa Bringin Jiwa Sejahtera (Bringin Life) and then in 2016 increasing its capital participation in PT BTMU-BRI Finance from 45% to 99%, making BRI the controlling shareholder. Upon completion of this process, PT BTMU BRI Finance later renamed as PT BRI Multifinance Indonesia.
Every corporate action and work plan is a part of BRI’s effort in providing complete banking services to its customers, especially the MSME sector. With BRIsat, BRI now can maximize its digital banking services. A number of digital initiatives for MSME have been in operation since 2016, from the development of Teras BRI Digital, e-Pasar, and the launch of coworking space. This was continued in 2017 by launching the Indonesia Mall and organizing the Cowork Festival. All initiatives for MSME are carried out to create superior MSME in the era of digital economy
BRI also begins operating the Overseas Unit at Timor Leste in 2017, and officially launched the Teras BRI Kapal Bahtera Seva II and Teras BRI Kapal Bahtera Seva III to reach the communities in the coastal areas of Labuan Bajo and Halmahera.
In 2017, BRI held the Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders on 18 October 2017 that approved the stock split from previously Rp250 per share to Rp50 per share (Ratio 1:5). The share was initially traded on 10 November 2017, at the 14th Anniversary of BRI’s listing at the stock exchange.
To develop the MSME sector, BRI is continually committed to provide convenience in banking services, in particular through digital banking innovation. To that end, since 2017 BRI has launched BRISPOT and continuing its development in 2018. BRISPOT is a mobile-based application with a one-stop service concept for Account Officer for the end-to-end lending process.
In 2018, to enhance its services to the customers, BRI launched an Artificial Intelligence called Sabrina as BRI New Assistance to facilitate the customers in obtaining information on Bank BRI.
In addition, BRI encouraged the MSME to go digital by launching the Indonesia Mall, cooperated with the market place startups thereby providing the MSME communities the opportunities to sell their products in wider market. BRI also launched the BRI Institute as real engagement of Bank BRI in the National Capacity Building for MSME segment.
As an entity, the BRI Group is a financial group providing comprehensive financial services, from conventional to sharia banking services, to insurance, and multifinance. This is in line with the BRI corporate plan 2018-2022 to achieve aspirations as an integrated financial services provider.
To accomplish this aspiration, on December 2018, BRI exercised three new equity investments, which are 2 (two) new subsidiaries – PT BRI Ventura Investama (BRI Ventures) and PT Danareksa Sekuritas (DS), as well as in PT Danareksa Investment Management (DIM).
BRI Ventures will be developed as the Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) for strategic investment especially toward growth-stage startup companies that have synergy potential with BRI Group and/or capital gain potentials.
In 2019, BRI continues to innovate its financial products and services to establish itself as the leading financial institution in digital banking in Indonesia. Some digital banking products launched through BRI Agro or PINANG are the First Digital Banking Lending in Indonesia. Next came BRImo which is the latest data-driven BRI Mobile application with UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) and the latest features. Most recently, BRI launched online loan facility called CERIA.
To realize an integrated financial solution, Bank BRI undertook a strategic move to complement its financial services, by acquiring companies that are engaged in General Insurance such as PT Bringin Sejahtera Artha Makmur or BRINS.
On these equity investments, total Subsidiaries of BRI become 8 (eight) Subsidiaries, namely Sharia (BRI Syariah), Conventional Bank (BRI Agro), Remittance (BRI Remittance), Insuranse (BRI Life), Multifinance (BRI Finance), Venture Capital (BRI Ventures), Securities (Danareksa Sekuritas), and PT. Bringin Sejahtera Artha Makmur (BRINS).
In 2020, BRI actively serves as the Government main partner in implementing the National Economic Recovery (NER) program which has delivered positive impact, not only for the Debtors of mostly are MSMEs, but also for BRI. Moreover, in the recovery effort for debtors impacted by the Covid-19, as of December 2020 the Company has carried out restructuring amounted to Rp186.6 trillion to 2.8 million debtors, whereby 95% are Micro, Consumer, Small and Medium segments.
To be able to adapt to new normal and to accelerate digital services, BRI has launched digital banking innovations. This is carried out to provide customer transactions convenience during the pandemic. Such digital innovations are among others:
New BRImo is developed by updating the looks and BRI mobile banking services for a more user friendly by combining several banking services functions into one feature. New BRImo is now easy to use and hi-tech with internet banking, mobile banking, and e-money functions – all in one. BRImo is forecasted to become future world that provide customer convenience in banking transactions, secure and in real time online.
In 2020, BRI continues to innovate specifically in the digital era by using artificial intelligence in its banking technology. Backed with big data and artificial intelligence, BRI introduces BRIBrain, an artificial intelligence developed to record, process, and consolidate all information from various sources. BRIBrain is the ‘brain’ for BRI in taking accurate and precise business decision to enhance the quality of products and services offered through its applications development.