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Rural, community banks meet to strategise on industry performance

BY: Haruna Wunpini
Kwame Owusu Sekyere, Acting President,Association of Rural Banks, Ghana
Kwame Owusu Sekyere, Acting President,Association of Rural Banks, Ghana

The Association of Rural Banks, chief executive officers (CEOs) and directors of rural and community banks are meeting in Koforidua for the 22nd Biennial General Meeting (BGM) and the 4th Rural Banking Excellence Awards.

The event, scheduled for November 7 to November 19, will be held on the theme: “The Role of Rural Banks: Growing Resilient RCBs in the Contemporary Ghanaian Economy”.

The objective is to review the performance and activities of major stakeholders of the association, and other developments within the rural banking industry.

It is also to elect new council members to steer the affairs of the association for the next two years.

Dignitaries

This year’s event will be graced by the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison, who is expected to make a regulatory pronouncement and to address regulatory issues like the compliance of the new corporate governance directive for all rural banks.


Knowledgeable and experienced industry players, including Board Chairman of the ARB Apex Bank, Dr Toni Aubynn; the Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, Alex Kwesi Awuah, and the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong, among others, are also expected to make governance and operational remarks with regard to happenings in the industry.

The acting National President of the Association of Rural Banks, Kwame Owusu Sekyere, will speak on issues bordering on the management of various rural and community banks, including locked-up funds with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); the need for the rural banks to have adequate capital to serve as a buffer to cushion against losses emanating from credit and operational risk, among others.

Importance of RCBs

Rural and community banks (RCBs) play a major role in ensuring that Bank of Ghana’s National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy is achieved.

Since they are in the communities, their products and services are tailored to incorporate everyone.

They also contribute essentially to the economic development of the country as they support micro small medium enterprises, especially in the rural parts of the country.

This major role leads to financial inclusion, poverty reduction and helps in bridging the gap between urban areas and the rural economy.

Background

The Association of Rural Banks is the apex body of all rural and community banks in Ghana.

It has a membership of over 147 rural and community banks with more than 850 branch networks providing banking services throughout the country.

RCBs have 6.5 million customers, employing more than 15,000 permanent staff.

The association has been supporting, promoting advocacy programmes to impact the development of agriculture, commerce and the growth of micro-medium and small-scale enterprises in rural communities.

The association, however, works closely with the ARB Apex Bank to achieve industry purpose.