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02.11.2008 Business & Finance

Rural and Community to Banks join foreign cash remittance business

By gna

All Rural and Community Banks (RCB) in the

country are to enter the foreign remittance business by the close of the year in

partnership with the Western Union Money Transfer.

This arrangement is expected to bring a big relief to people in the rural areas

who travel to towns and cities to cash money remitted to them at the bigger

banks.

Mr Eric Osei-Bonsu, Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank Ltd said this

at the 14 annual general meeting of the North Volta Rural Bank Limited held at

Guaman in the Jasikan District.

He said already 85 of such banks were engaged in the remittance business.

Mr Osei-Bonsu described performance indicators of the North Volta Rural

Bank Limited in 2007 as, “highly commendable”.

Profit before tax increased from Ghc 44,048.72 in 2006 to Ghc 89,959.00 in

2007, representing a whopping 104 percent increase.

Deposits increased from Ghc 554,495.00 in 2006 to Ghc 953,559.00 in 2007

an increase of 71 percent, while total assets increased from Ghc 893,953.00 in

2006 to Ghc 1,582,656.00 in 2007, representing 77 percent increase.

Mr Osei-Bonsu observed that public confidence in rural and community

banks had gone up as a result of the reported good performance trends but

cautioned that the banks would have to do more to stay in the market.

He said the banks must pursue organizational restructuring, effective credit

administration, cost control and reduction.

Mr Osei-Bonsu said the RCBs should improve their customer services and

also introduce new products in order to retain their customers.

He said changes in ownership structure and governance of the RCBs that put

a new minimum capital up at Ghc 150,000.00 were designed to grow the banks.

Mr Osei-Bonsu said the challenge now was for the RCBs to meet competition

“boot for boot”, without any expectation of protection from the regulatory

authorities.

He suggested merges if that would make some of the banks stronger to

survive.

Dr Patrick Ata, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank observed that

patronage of the Apex Link Transfer operated by the banks would go down

considerably as a result of the introduction of the e-Zwich System, an instant

electronic payment method.

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