Strengthen RCBs to become competitive – Shareholders urged

RCBs PixCustomers of Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) have been urged to pay back loans to keep the banks going and sustain them in the competitive banking business as well.

Mr Alex Kwasi Awuah, Deputy Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, also appealed to shareholders to strive to increase their shareholdings to enable all the RCBs to meet the Bank of Ghana’s (BOG) minimum capital requirement.

This will not only forestall any non-compliance sanctions, but strengthen the RCBs to compete with the other commercial and traditional banks.

He was addressing the 28th general meeting of the shareholders of the Nsoatreman Rural Bank at its head office at Nsoatre in the Sunyani West District.

Mr Awuah asked the RCBs to tighten their internal control systems, and to take proactive measures to recover loans from defaulters.

He highlighted the tremendous contributions of the RCBs to the growth of the banking sector, and saluted those that had met the Central Bank’s required capital.

Mr Awuah encouraged the ones yet to meet the requirement to up their effort.

He applauded the Nsoatreman Rural Bank for the strong growth in the past years and praised the management, customers, shareholders and the entire staff of the bank for the successes.

Mr Awuah noted that the strength of the RCBs depended on their assets, investments and loan recovery processes, adding that, because credit management practices in most of the RCBs remained weak, there were also high levels of non-performing loans.

Statistics from the RCBs performance report at the end of June 2017 showed that the rural banking industry recorded a non-performing loan ratio of 12.05 per cent which was significantly higher than the benchmark of five per cent.

Mr Kofi Agyeman, the Board Chairman, said during the year under review, the Ghanaian economy saw significant improvements as compared to the year 2016.

This was evident from the economic indicators – inflation falling from 15.4 per cent, in December 2016, to 11.8 per cent, in December 2017.

The cedi remained relatively stable against the major trading currencies throughout the year at an average rate of five per cent against eight per cent in 2016.

Business confidence, the Board Chairman said, was high throughout the year resulting in keen competition among banks against deterioration of asset quality as the non-performance ratio, the key measure of the industry’s asset quality, increased from 17.3 per cent, in 2016, to 22.7 per cent, in 2017.

Mr Agyeman said that notwithstanding, the bank managed to make modest strides and commended management and staff for their hard work.

GNA

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Pix name: RCBs Pix

CAPTION: ARB Apex Bank is a ‘mini’ central bank for the RCBs

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