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31.10.2005 Business & Finance

Rural Banks urged to reconsider charging ledger fees or COT

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Koforidua, Oct. 31, GNA- The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Ms Susana Mensah, has called on Rural Banks to consider eliminating charging of ledger fees and the Cost of Turnover (COT) against their customers to encourage people in the rural areas to save. She also urged them to rather generate incomes through the management of their core business of lending.

Ms. Mensah was speaking at the formal launching of the joint Rural Bank Week and World Thrift Day celebrations in the Eastern Region at Koforidua on Monday.

She advised the Rural and Community Banks to consider payment of interest on both savings and current accounts of their customers and deliver credit request on time.

Ms. Mensah pointed out that the requirement of high minimum deposits tended to kill the spirit of potential customers in the rural areas and urged the banks to take a good look at such practices. In a welcoming address, the Administrator of the Eastern Regional Chapter of the Association of Rural Banks(ARB), Mr. Francis Mensah, said currently, there were 120 Rural Banks in the country of which 19 are in the Eastern Region.

He said the Rural Banks provided employment for over 3,400 young men and women in the country and controlled nine per cent of the country's domestic savings, which amounted to 1.5 trillion cedis of which 340 billion cedis were being held by Rural Banks in the Eastern Region.

Mr Mensah said the Week would be used to sensitise the public on the benefits of savings, showcase the activities of Rural Banks, make banking friendly to people with disabilities and to re-emphasize the social responsibilities of Rural Banks.

In a chairman's remarks, the Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Oti Boateng, called on Rural and Community Banks to work hard to improve upon their performance. He estimated that it was possible for the Rural and Community Banks to raise their share of the national savings from the current nine per cent to 20 per cent in the next 15 years with proper planning. Oct. 31, 05

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