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16.02.2009 Business & Finance

Rural bank to open agencies in “overseas” areas of the north

By GNA

Management of West Mamprusi Community Bank has expressed the desire to extend its banking services to some deprived and “Overseas” areas in Upper East and the Northern regions to enhance the banks growth and profitability.

Mr. John Asabigi, Board chairman of the bank, said this at Walewale on Saturday during the bank's eighth Annual General Meeting.

He said approval had been obtained from the Bank of Ghana to open agencies and mobilization centres in deprived communities.

The deprived communities he mentioned included Pwalugu in the Upper East Region while Janga and Mankarigu in the Northern Region, referred to as “Overseas,” are to get agencies.

Mr. Asabigi said the first agency would be opened in Pwalugu in the Talensi/Nabdam District and would be extended to Bolgatanga later this year while plans were also in place to open a branch in Tamale.

He said the bank, since its inception in 1994, had received a lot of patronage from the business community that called for measures to open other branches, agencies and mobilization centres to bring banking services.

Mr. Asabigi said though the bank had made giant strides it was confronted with the endemic problem of clearing the (Bonus) shares registers of rural and community banks.

He said Merchant Bank that was contracted by ARB Apex Bank to assist in the exercise, compounded the problem by consolidating similar names of different people and combined their shares.

He said the bank's operations were affected by the 2008 rainstorm disaster that made the bank to record low deposits and expressed the hope that when the agencies are opened deposits would rise.

Mr Asabigi said total deposits, other creditors and accruals at the end of 2007 fell short by 2.30 per cent from the previous year's figure of GH¢1,347,830.00 to GH¢1,316,682,.00.

Mrs. Veronica Pamela Adza-Ntem, West Mamprusi District Director of Education who was the guest of honour, said the floods should serve as an eye-opener to all to cultivate the habit of saving.

She said loan recovery was a very important element in the success of any bank and called on shareholders and other customers of the bank to pay back loans promptly.

She called on the bank to adopt affirmative programmes to assist women particularly those who are into small business operation to grow.

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