Central Regional Association of rural banks allay fears over BOG license revocation

The Central Regional Chapter of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) has assured managements, staff, shareholders and customers that Bank of Ghana (BOG) has no intention to run down rural banks as was being speculated.

It said it was malicious, outrageous and fake speculations that after the BOG’s revocation of the licenses of some Microfinances and Savings and Loans institutions the next to hit was rural and community banks.

Mr Isaac Kwesi Arkust Yamoah, Administrator of Central Regional Chapter of Association of Rural Banks, gave the assurance in an interview with Ghana News Agency at Agona Swedru.

He said the reason for trending such fake news by some unscrupulous people industry was also to create panic and fear among customers and shareholders of rural banks to serve their personal interest.

The Central Regional Association Chapter Officer said Bank of Ghana has indicated that it will not descend on rural and community banks because they were in good standing.

Mr Arkust Yamoah said Central Region which pioneered rural banking has a total of 21 rural banks but three of them have merged and presently the number stands at 19 and they have all met BOG’s required share capitals of one million Cedis.

He said the first rural bank was established in 1976 at Agona Nyakrom in the Central Region and presently there are 144 rural and community banks in the country.

The total assets of rural banks in Central Region as of June, 2017 stood at 2.24 million Cedis whiles deposits also increased to 132.4 million Cedis at the same period.

Mr Arkust Yamoah said the rural and community banks were owned by shareholders from same community and it would be impossible that the people would accept the collapse of their own banks.

The Administrator said the concept of rural banking was to mobilize funds in rural areas and save them and give back to them as small and medium scale loans to expand their businesses.

He said another reason for rural banks was also because they assist cocoa farmers, transport operators, parents, teachers and others with readily available loans to improve living conditions.

The rural banks since its inception 43 years ago have assisted the growth of rural economy and that it would be extremely difficult for big banks to enter into rural areas to assist the development of women for instance.

He said rural banks having developed numerous products such as susu savings and loans and others have had positive impact on the lives of rural folks.

The Administrator appealed to customers of rural and community banks to treat the statement as contempt that BOG would soon collapse rural banks.

Mr Arkust Yamoah said rural banks in the region were doing well and urged Ghanaians to continue to patronize rural banks to aid the growth of rural economy.