By Tabita Diela
Seasoned banker Wimboh Santoso was elected the chairman of the Financial Services Authority, or OJK, for 2017-2022, beating his competitor Sigit Pramono, another senior banker.
Wimboh won 50 out of 55 votes at House Commission XI, which oversees finance and banking. He will begin his term this month, replacing Muliaman Hadad.
The OJK supervises Indonesia’s financial sector and is estimated to be worth $1.2 trillion. It collects fees from banks and non-bank financial institutions, including pension funds and insurance companies.
“Wimboh is the right man for the job with his knowledge, experience and political support.”
- Yanuar Rizky
Wimboh, the former president commissioner of state lender Bank Mandiri, hinted that the OJK may lower its fee collection from financial institutions, as he seeks to cut spending, especially for unnecessary business travels and meetings.
“Efficiency is a must. We will save what we can save,” Wimboh told a press conference following his election in June. He also said the OJK will maximize the use of technology for educational purposes, surveillance and e-procurement.
Right man for the job
Prior to his tenure at Bank Mandiri, Wimboh served as the head of Bank Indonesia’s New York representative office and, later, as executive director at the International Monetary Fund.
Yanuar Rizky of research and consultancy company Bejana Investigate Globalindo commented that the OJK should indeed review its spending to gain the respect of the financial services community.
According to a 2014 government regulation, financial services companies are obliged to pay a permit fee and an annual fee to the OJK.
Banks and insurance companies, for example, need to pay 0.045% of their total assets - with a minimum of Rp10 million - a year. The OJK targets to collect Rp4.37 trillion ($328.7 million) this year, 11% more than in 2016.
“Wimboh is the right man for the job with his knowledge, experience and political support,” Yanuar said.
However, he added that the domestic financial sector will be affected by uncertain global economic conditions for the next five years.
Wimboh and six other new commissioners need to plan how to mitigate potential risks.