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Jakarta Post

House sets up working committee to oversee 'worrying' financial services

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 21, 2020   /   05:43 pm
House sets up working committee to oversee 'worrying' financial services House of Representatives Commission XI members (sitting, left to right) vice chairman Fathan, chairman Dito Ganinduto and vice chairman Eriko Sotarduga attend a press conference at the Nusantara I building in Central Jakarta on Tuesday. (JP/Moch. Fiqih Prawira)

The House of Representatives’ Commission XI, which oversees financial affairs, has announced the establishment of a working committee to monitor the financial services industry following a string of allegations implicating major companies.

The committee will focus on several service providers, including state insurers Asuransi Jiwasraya, Asabri and Asuransi Jiwa Bersama (AJB) Bumiputera. It will also look into financial problems suffered by state-owned pension insurance firm Taspen and sharia lender Bank Muamalat.

“The ongoing problems in the financial service industry are very worrying,” Commission XI chairman Dito Ganinduto wrote in a statement on Tuesday.

The committee would work hand-in-hand with other working committees recently established by Commission III overseeing legal affairs and Commission VI overseeing trade, industry and SOEs.

The Commission XI working committee will specifically handle finance-related issues, while that of Commission VI will handle the corporation side and Commission III’s working committee will oversee law enforcement.

“We will coordinate, so that our work doesn't overlap,” Dito told a press briefing in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The committees’ establishment comes after financial trouble at numerous companies has captured the government’s and public’s attention.

Jiwasraya is in hot water for failing to pay out more than Rp 12 trillion (US$881 million) for maturing policies of its customers. Asabri incurred losses of Rp 10 trillion attributed to investment mismanagement, and Bumiputera has not paid out Rp 9.6 trillion for matured policies.

Meanwhile, Taspen suffered 23 percent investment losses in the two years ending 2018, according to Ombudsman Indonesia commissioner Ahmad Alamsyah Saragih, Kompas.com reported. Muamalat is being monitored upon the request of its shareholders after an extreme drop in net profit and a jump in bad loans.

Commission XI’s working committee would work with other stakeholders in financial services, such as the Financial Services Authority (OJK), the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), Bank Indonesia (BI), Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) and the Finance Ministry. It aims to complete the assessment within several months, focusing first on the Jiwasraya case.

“The commission’s priority is the customers; they have to get their money back,” Commission XI vice chairman Eriko Sotarduga said.

Eriko added that the committee could provide recommendations for better financial services laws, adding that the House would evaluate the laws for the BI and OJK after the deliberation of the prioritized omnibus bill.

“It is a lesson for us to make rigid and strict laws without grey areas and opportunities for hanky-panky and negotiating; it might be a blessing in disguise,” he said. (mfp)