Shareholders of the Atiwa Rural Bank were at the weekend informed that the Bank of Ghana has fixed GH¢150,000 as the minimum capital requirement for all rural banks, and therefore requested the banks to grow their stated capital to meet the requirement.
They were also informed that the Bank of Ghana by a notice dated June 10 2008 also made it clear that all Rural and Community Banks with stated capital below GH¢150,000 would not be allowed to pay dividend or open new branches or agencies until they obtained that capitalisation.
These were obtained in an address read for Eric Osei-Bonsu, Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank at the 20th Annual General Meeting of the shareholders at Kwabeng.
Mr. Osei-Bonsu announced to the shareholders that Bank of Ghana has also directed that corporate ownership of RCBs would be restricted to 50 percent of the total shares and individual ownership also restricted to 30 percent of total shares, while family ownership would cumulatively be restricted to 40 percent of the total shares held.
He said the Central Bank has also directed that shares of rural banks should always be available for purchase by the public, and that decision making by shareholders should be in accordance with section 50 (1) of the Companies Code of 1963, Act 179 which enjoins shareholders to take decisions though polling.
Mr Osei-Bonsu urged all RCBs to have Internal Audit Units as part of their management structure and also institute risk management policy to identify, assess, monitor and control risks.
He said RCBs must endeavour to build a good corporate image for themselves to ensure loyalty of customers who patronise their products.
The chairman of Board of Directors of the Atiwa Rural Bank, Isaac Akomaning Asamoah disclosed that the bank's paid up capital stood at GH¢112,856, thus showing a deficit of GH¢37,144 as per the BoG directive.
Mr. Asamoah therefore, appealed to the shareholders to increase their shares and also pass a resolution to authorise the transfer of part of the bank"s reserves to make up the difference.
He announced that the bank made a net profit of GH¢84,984 as against GH¢66,616 in 2006. He also announced the payment of 50 pesewas dividend per share as compared to 40 pesewas paid in 2006.
Mr. Asamoah said loans and overdrafts for the bank's customers in Agriculture Commerce, Transportation, Cottage industry and Construction among others totaled GH¢1,706,020.
Between January and August 2008 the bank's audited profit stood at GH¢101,234, deposits at GH¢3,466,544, Loans at GH¢1,251,110 and short term investment at GH¢1,318, 775, indicating that the bank's performance is set to improve by the end of the year.
The Atiwa District Chief Executive, Kwasi Osei-Agyepong was present at the meeting.