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The Association of Rural Banks (ARB Apex Bank) has cautioned the government against the collapse of Rural banks in the country following its austerity measures.
According to the association, such regulatory policy has come at a time when many rural banks are struggling to sustain their operations, regarding deadline for compulsory retirement of perceived aged directors, albeit increment in operational Capital, notwithstanding the unforeseeable circumstances that militate against the progress of the rural banks.
Speaking at the 36th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Enyan Denkyira Rural Bank at Ajumako Owane in the central region, the Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, Kojo Matah, called on the government to urgently take steps to prevent the collapsing rural banks from extinction since their impact in the rural economy is crucial.
“The move by the Central Bank calls for a sober reflection for board members of rural banks to sit up and rediscover their position before they are caught unaware,” he advised.
He urged the leadership of District Assemblies to liaise with the banks to map out strategies to impress the government to revise its note on debilitating factors responsible for collapsing of those affected banks as they serve as intermediation in terms of financial relief to the people in the grassroots for whose sake business activities of rural banks be prevented from grinding to a halt under no circumstances”, he stated.
With the upward review of operational capital at GHc 1m couple with recent compulsory retirement of the directors who had served beyond nine years by the close of the year, he opined that the policy would deepen the already cracks and affect the smooth running of administration since the new hands will require space and time to assimilate to the bank’s tradition.
“ARB Apex bank is rapidly losing its members through unaccustomed regulatory policy by the Central Bank”, he bemoaned.
He lauded the board, management, staff and the shareholders of the bank for exhibiting mutual sense of cooperation which he acknowledged had culminated in the bank’s success story over the years and challenged them to go extra miles in their achievements.
He also advised management to prioritize both customer and staff welfare in order to boost their morale to give of their best to increase patronage.
Responding to quest for the bank to intensify on its corporate responsibility, the bank’s Supervising Manager, Mr. Joseph Kobena Bentum recounted the bank’s numerous interventions as part of fulfilling its social responsibility to the catchment communities and individuals including offering of scholars packages to both JHS & Senior High Schools graduates on merit.
Besides, he intimated that the bank had also provided computer and accessories to some institutions in the district and assured of expansion of the gesture to include graduate students as well when the need arises.
Mr. Bentum’s explanation came in the wake of grave concerns made by some opinion leaders from the area including DCE and Nana Tsibu VI, Omanhen of Enyan Denkyira traditional area intended to sensitize the bank to live up to its corporate responsibility.
” It worth noting that the bank is very much alive to fulfilment of its social requirements and has been contributing in ‘cash and kind’ rather behind scene, since its inception”, he said adding that “henceforth, we’ll also blow our horns for everybody to hear it and appreciate our impact”, he said amusingly to light up the place.
Earlier, the Ajumako- Enyan- Esiam district Chief Executive Officer ( DCE) Rev. Ransford Kojo Nyarko urged the bank to intensify on its social responsibility. He praised the management, staff and shareholders for their commitment and urged them to continue to work interdependently thereby to uphold their gains in the midst of crisis involving the financial industry.
In the midst of crisis, where many others have fallen apart, the only way forward to uphold the gains chalked is working in interdependency,” he advised.
For his part, Dr. William Panford Bray, the bank’s board chairman explained that it was imperative why the bank proposed the transfer of its dividend for the year to augment the Bank’s operational capital requirement and thanked the shareholders for acceded to the board’s decision.
At this juncture, the shareholders at the meeting who took kindly to turn of events took turns to eulogise the board and management for what they described as ” an insightful, a step in the right direction which will ultimately consolidate the bank’s modest gains chalked thus, further catapulted it into imminence.
We’re confident of the bank’s resilience to respond to the current Central Bank’s regulatory policy ” they chorused in acceptance by popular acclamation of the resolution arrived at in the course of the meeting.
The bank recorded a net amount of GHc 5, 800, 477 for the year under review as against the GHc 4, 035,140 it registered in 2017 whilst Capital Adequacy for the same period stood at GHc 2,402,438 as against GHc 1,851,359 recorded in 2016.
Present at the meeting were Dr. John Kofi Mensah, MD for Agricultural Development Bank and also a board member of the bank, and representatives from Head of Banking Service Division ( BSD) Bank of Ghana, ARB- Central Regional Chapter and Managing Directors from sister banks, Clergy and Nananom from the area and their retinue amongst others.
Source: Emmanuel Adu Gyamfi