Fri, 14 Jan 2000

Bank Mandiri's lack of transparence

The statement issued recently by Bank Mandiri's chief director, Robby Djohan, that the time hasn't yet come for his bank to disclose the names of its bad debtors constitutes a new phenomenon in this time of reform in the financial services sector, when the principle of transparence for the sake of rehabilitating the national banking sector is being touted.

It would be most naive and absurd for the Bank Mandiri management to try to conceal the problems they are actually facing. After all, banks, as institutions that depend on the public's trust, should cherish the principle of reasonable openness, especially if indications of the misuse of funds are found.

We hope Robby will change his stance because it is on his shoulders that the good standing and credibility of Bank Mandiri rest. As an "outsider" (a former private banker) he might be in a better position to take the strict measures needed to repair the poor reputation that often clung to state-owned banks in the past.

-- Bisnis Indonesia, Jakarta