Brief History



With its rich background, solid financial base, competent human resources and reliable technology, BNI forges ahead to become a national bank with global capabilities.


Founded on July 5, 1946, PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk., (BNI) is the first state-owned bank established after Indonesia’s independence. During the struggle for Indonesia’s independence, BNI had once served as both the central bank and a commercial bank, as stipulated in Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No. 2/1946, before transitioning to a strictly commercial bank in 1955. Oeang Republic of Indonesia or ORI, which was the first legal

tender issued by the Government of Indonesia on October 30, 1946, was printed and circulated by BNI.


Following the appointment of De Javasche Bank – a legacy of the Dutch Government – as central bank in 1949, the Government limited BNI’s role as a central bank. BNI was subsequently converted to a development bank, and in 1950 was granted the right to operate as a foreign-exchange bank with direct access to international transactions.


In 1955 BNI opened its first overseas branch, which was in Singapore.


The role of BNI in developing Indonesia’s economy became increasingly strategic in the 1960s, when the Bank expanded its coverage to cater to customers of all segments from Sabang to Merauke – by introducing services such as Floating Bank, Roving Bank, Children’s Bank and Sarinah Bank.


The Floating Bank aimed to serve the people living in the islands such as Riau or remote areas not easily accessible by land such as Kalimantan.


The Roving Bank was a mobile banking service from a car – a proactive effort to encourage people to develop a saving habit.


In accordance with Law No. 17 of 1968, BNI’s mission as a commercial bank under the name of Bank Negara Indonesia 1946, was to improve the people’s economic conditions and to participate in the development of the national economy.


Early on, BNI had already implemented customer segmentation by introducing Sarinah Bank a bank dedicated to female customers with the entire staff consisting of females; and the Children’s Bank that aimed to educate children to develop a saving habit at young age, also featuring children staff.


In 1963 BNI pioneered banking service in universities by opening an Auxiliary Cash Office at the University of North Sumatera (USU), Medan. Currently, BNI maintains branches at nearly all leading public and private universities in Indonesia.


Along the way BNI had repositioned its corporate identity to reflect the dynamics of the financial market. The first identity when BNI was first established was a red circle with lettering ‘BNI 1946’ printed in gold, signifying unity, bravery and patriotism reflecting BNI’s pioneering spirit.


In 1988 that identity was changed into a logo featuring a sailboat and waves, signifying BNI’s position as a state-owned bank ready to enter the global financial market with its overseas branches. The waves signified BNI’s forward movement as a market-oriented commercial bank.


Following the Asian financial crisis in 1998 that shook the market confidence in the national banking industry, BNI embarked on a restructuring program that included a rebranding campaign aimed at rebuilding and enhancing its reputation. The new identity featured ‘46’ before ‘BNI’.


The word ‘BNI’ in green reflected strength, uniqueness and robustness; while the number ‘46’ in orange was positioned diagonally to symbolize the new and modern BNI.



Increasing Shareholder Value


BNI once again achieved another milestone through its initial public offering on the Jakarta Stock Exchange and Surabaya Stock Exchange in 1996. In the national history of banking, BNI was the first state-owned bank to go public.


In accordance with the divestment of the Government’s shares, BNI issued new shares in 2007 and 2010 through rights issue, subsequently increasing the public’s share to 40%.


With the public’s share now larger, BNI was challenged to deliver superior performance in order to deliver substantial return to the shareholders.


Globalization also challenged the banking industry to consistently expand capabilities in providing banking solutions to customers.


Historically BNI has focused on corporate banking, supported by a strong retail banking infrastructure. At present, BNI strives to expand the capabilities of both to become BNI’s core strength.



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