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22.12.2005 Regional News

Rural Banks advised to strategize to improve on their performance

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Bogoso (W/R) Dec. 22, GNA - The Bank of Ghana (BOG) has advised rural banks to implement strategies that would improve credit quality, better liquidity management and customer service to reduce cost of banking operations.

It said management of rural banks, must be abreast with modern trends in banking both locally and internationally to make profits and be competitive.

Mr. Emmanuel Aseidu-Mante, First Deputy Governor, of BOG gave the advice in an address read on his behalf by Mr. Dela Serlomey, Deputy Head of Banking Supervision, BOG at the 17th Annual General Meeting and inauguration of the new head office building of Fiaseman Rural Bank at Bogoso.

He said one of the modern trends was to focus on the adequacy of capital of banks adding "banking involves extensive risk taking for which capital is needed."

Mr. Asiedu-Mante said the required capital served as a buffer for absorbing any losses that would arise as a loss of failed risk. He said the rural banks were therefore, required to have a sound capital base to enable them undertake risks, both real and latent without placing depositors funds in danger.

Mr Asiedu-Mante said in view of the coming into effect of the new banking act, BOG had organized series of seminars for managements of rural banks to discuss provisions in the act and update them on the accompanying guidelines, accounting and credit manuals and reporting formats introduced under the law.

These seminars, Mr. Asiedu-Mante said were to ensure that there was uniformity in the analysis and presentation of data adding "banking staff would have sharpened their reporting skills to enable them submit timely and accurate reports."

He said to advance the cost of good management and control systems, rural banks should develop the culture of vigilance and respect for internal controls and ensure that this culture permeates the whole organization.

Mr Asiedu-Mante told the management to build human resource capacity to meet the training needs of their staff by drawing up training programmes that would meet the peculiar need of their banks even as they patronize the training programmes offered by ARB Apex Bank and German Technical Cooperation and Manpower Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI).

Mr Asiedu-Mante encouraged the Public to patronize the new product, "Fie ne Fie", home cash product recently launched by the ARB Apex Bank, to make progress towards cash-free economy at a faster rate. He said BOG was fully committed to the viability and sustainability of the banking system in Ghana, adding, "accordingly, the Central Bank will ensure that banks maintain adequate capital, adopt good credit and liquidity management practices, good corporate governance and sound internal control measures through effective supervision."

To further enhance customer satisfaction and improve on services rendered by the banks, Mr Asiedu-Mante said the BOG had established the Consumer Complaints Unit within the Banking Supervision Department, where customers' complaints and grievances were independently investigated and their concerns and misgivings addressed.

"The banking public is therefore advised to direct any complaints, misgivings or unsatisfactory services rendered by any bank to the Central Bank for appropriate actions to be taken," He added.

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