Comply with BoG policies or fold up – RCBs told

Rural and community banks (RCBs) must adhere strictly to Bank of Ghana’s risk and compliance policies to avoid folding up, Kojo Mattah, Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank Limited has advised.

He, therefore, suggested to the RCBs to recruit risk and compliance officers with clear job descriptions such as assisting the banks to keep track of all compliance requirements and also alerting boards and management to work within the framework prescribed by BoG.

Mr Mattah was speaking at the 28th Annual General Meeting of the Sonzele Rural Bank Limited at Jirapa.

The Sonzele Rural Bank, with branches in Wa, Nadowli, Lambussie and Hain, was doing its annual ritual of bringing together shareholders and stakeholders to review the past year and deliberate on future operations.

“The threats of the regulator are real and all RCBs in the country must take it serious. I would therefore like to encourage all RCBs to speed up with their compliance plans in order to meet the GH¢1million minimum requirement demanded by the BoG,” he stressed.

He again directed the RCBs to comply with laid-down procedure for granting loans, whether the clients were staff of the bank or not, explaining that “serving directors who want to take loans should go through the necessary approval processes by the BoG before such facilities are disbursed”.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sonzele Rural Bank, Mathias Samwine, announced that the bank had met Bank of Ghana’s minimum capital requirement, and was seeking to increase it marginally.

He elaborated some achievements of the bank over the year, and said it had installed automated teller machines, increased investment and deposits by 34 and 36 per cents respectively.

He decried the negative implications that the collapse of some local banks in the country has had on the operations of other local and rural banks, and suggested that bank owners should consider organising sensitisation programmes for customers.

LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, JIRAPA

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