Agustina Wayansari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
With the retail banking potential still relatively untapped here, HSBC Indonesia says it will stay focused on developing its retail division.
"We target to disburse around US$250 million in personal loans this year, more than triple last year's total of US$80 million," the head of consumer banking at the HSBC Indonesia, Vivek Agarwal, said Friday.
To support the ambitious target, the bank plans to open as many as 50 new branch office, to add to the existing 60 branch offices and nine sub-branches in major cities across the country.
And the expansion would go beyond this year, Agarwal added.
"We aim to have a total of 120 branches at the end of this year and up to 150 branches by the end of 2009."
Agarwal said HSBC Indonesia was among the pioneers in developing personal loan banking when it started the service in early 2006, offering loans at that time ranging from Rp 2 million (around US$217) to Rp 15 million.
It now has around 70,000 customers, more than 60 percent of them micro businesses, he said.
"Lack of documentation has made SMEs unbankable. (But) it's not an issue for us because we do business conventionally."
He said HSBC analyzed potential customers and made loans only to those it considered creditworthy.