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26.08.2004 Business & Finance

APEX Bank to open six rural banks

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Wa, Aug 26, GNA - Apex Bank Limited would within the next few months open six new rural banks to supplement the performance of Souzelle Rural Bank and Nandom Rural Bank the only two rural banks in the Upper West Region.

The beneficiary towns are Lawra, Tumu, Nadowli and Kaleo in the Upper West Region and Bole and Tuna in the Northern Region. Mr Abdul Raheem Iddi-Puyo, Upper West Regional Supervisor of Apex Bank Limited, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Wa on Thursday, said the Bank of Ghana had already inspected facilities at Tumu and Lawra and work would soon begin.

He gave the assurance that Nadowli, Bole, Kaleo and Tuna would also take off next year.

Mr Iddi-Puyo said educational programme on loan facilities and other assistance the Apex Bank and various Rural Banks were offering was attracting a lot more people to patronise bank services.

The Regional Supervisor said Apex Certificate of Deposit (ACOD), the sale of treasury bills and other services were attracting more rural dwellers to transact business with rural banks.

Mr Iddi-Puyo explained that while other banking institutions could not sell treasury bills directly, the rural banks through Apex could sell them to customers and the introduction of ACOD where customers savings could attract interest rates ranging from 12 per cent to 14.5 per cent was so attractive.

He gave the assurance that all the 117 Rural Banks throughout the country would be computerised and assisted with other necessary logistics to enhance their operations.

"With the coming of Apex Bank Limited two years ago, supervision is now high, and auditing very effective to flush out petty fraudulent practices that came up in the past."

Mr Iddi-Puyo said Apex Bank was also assisting rural banks to procure fortified volts to ward-off armed robbers and all classes of stealing.

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