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17.10.2004 Business & Finance

Rural banking system to be transformed - Kwapong

By GNA

Agona Kwanyako (C/R), Oct 17, GNA - The Managing Director of the ARB APEX Bank, Mr Emmanuel Kwapong, has stated that rural banks are to be transformed to meet the expectations of the rural financial sector as well as the banking public soon.

He said "their operations will be further changed by the introduction of modern equipment like computers and communication gadgets to enhance reporting and service delivery".

This was contained in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Ken Owusu-Twumasi, Head of Human Resource and Administration of the APEX Bank, at the 20th Annual General Meeting of Agona Rural Bank, at Kwanyako.

He said the ARB APEX Bank was also leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that all rural banks performed satisfactorily to attain the objectives of the sector.

Mr Kwapong noted that since 2002, ARB APEX bank had been providing the requisite support to Community and Rural Banks to enable them realise their potentials as key operators in Ghana's rural economy. He stressed that one of the critical issues, which required attention and resolution was that of the stated capital of rural banks and urged their boards and managements to intensify their mobilisation efforts to make the banks stronger.

One of the greatest setback in rural banking is the obvious lack of interest of qualified citizens from their areas of operation to accept positions to ensure the development of the banks, he said.

Mr Ben Donkoh, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said the bank increased its deposits to 5.12 billion cedis last year as against 3.59 billion in 2002 and declared a net profit of 424.97 million cedis in 2003 as compared to 274.8 million cedis in 2002.

The Board Chairman said that the Bank increased its short-term investments from 3.02 billion cedis in 2002 to 4.78 billion cedis last year, adding that, the total income of the bank rose to 1.522 billion cedis in 2003 as against 895.40 million cedis in the previous year.

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