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09.12.2004 Business & Finance

Rural and community banks told to focus ....

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more micro-finance credit activities Ekumfi-Essueshyia (C/R), Dec. 9, GNA - The Micro-Finance Co-ordinator of the ARB Apex Bank, Mr. Theophilus Paul Obeng, at the weekend charged rural and community banks in the country to encourage the formation of micro-finance credit groups in their catchment areas. This would enable them to offer adequate financial support to hard working people in the rural areas, particularly women, to improve their economic status and also assist the banks themselves to improve their capital base.

Mr. Obeng was addressing the 17th annual shareholders meeting of the Ekumfiman Rural Bank at Ekumfi-Essueshyia last Saturday. He said the ARB Apex Bank also serves as a conduit for the channelling of on-lending micro-finance credits from government and donor communities to the rural and the community banks.

Mr. Obeng said this intervention is to ensure proper utilisation of funds and also promote the sustainability of the micro credit programme initiated by the government.

He said the services have also made it possible for the participating rural and community banks to fund micro credit activities to help improve the economic conditions of the beneficiaries and also earn some income for the banks themselves.

Mr. Obeng has therefore, urged rural and community banks to focus their attention on the micro credit programmes, particularly on women, explaining that female borrowers have proved to be more reliable in the repayment of loans.

He also advised rural and community banks to take advantage of the various training programmes initiated by Apex Bank to better the knowledge and skills of their workers.

Mr. Obeng charged directors, management and staff of Ekumfiman Rural Bank to work harder to make the bank one of the best in the country in the future.

Nana Obranu IV, Chairman of the bank's Board of Directors announced that the bank made a net profit of 29 million cedis as against 10 million cedis last year.

He said the bank had put in place prudent measures to brighten its future.

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