The total assets of the 135 Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) hit GH¢875.82 million, in December last year, Mr Boyd Donkor, an Assistant Director, Banking Supervision Department of the Bank of Ghana (BOG), has announced.
This, he said, represented an increase of 39.82 per cent over the previous year's figure.
Their loans and overdrafts during the period also stood at GH¢ 333.69 million while deposits came to GH¢ 682.13 million, recording 26.96 per cent and 48.24 per cent increases, respectively.
Mr Donkor, who was addressing the 21st annual general meeting of shareholders of the Adansi Rural Bank at Fomena said, the remarkable growth was achieved amidst fierce competition from the commercial banks and the proliferation of other players, including the savings and loans companies, finance houses and microfinance institutions.
The BOG was aware of the immense changes taking place in the financial landscape and the need to focus on issues that would propel banks to grow to higher heights.
He urged the board and management of RCBs to pay special attention to good corporate governance, risk management, effective and efficient internal control system, regulatory compliance and customer care.
Mr Donkor said with computerization and other developments in the payment system, they should invest in technology.
He encouraged the banks to implement all the recommendations made in examination reports and to ensure that they operated strictly in accordance with the banking rules and regulations to avoid being sanctioned.
Mr Eric Osei-Bonsu, Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, in an address read for him, called on rural banks to review their risk aversion position and strengthen their credit management system to enable them to channel more funds into loans and advances.
He called on borrowers to settle their indebtedness to the banks to enable others to benefit from the bank's lending facilities. GNA