Mr. Duke Osam, Acting Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank Limited, has called on rural banks to strategize and improve on their expertise to meet the sophisticated demands of clients.
Mr. Osam said a bank needed not infrastructure but expertise because customers were becoming more sophisticated and must be sought after in order for them to be retained. He said this in a speech read for him at the annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Builsa Community Bank in Sandema.
He said there were new developments in the rural banking sector and urged management of the various banks to make more efforts to realize improvements in the sector as it was becoming more competitive.
Mr. Osam said the maintenance of share registers had not been given the seriousness it deserved, making many investors to shy away from rural banks.
He said ARB Apex Bank Limited through the erstwhile Rural Financial Services Project, had provided funds to clear and update all share registers and would soon establish a unit to manage the shares of rural banks including the payment of dividends and related services.
Other developments in the Rural Banking system that were being addressed are custodial services for Rural Community Banks Pension Funds, Automation of Apexlink Money Transfer and the need for increase in capital.
Mr Osam recommended risk management, internal controls, customer service and training as areas to consider bringing improvements in the rural banking system. He congratulated the Builsa Community Bank for the impressive performance in achieving a net profit of GH�144,092, an increase of 34% for 2010 as against 107,765 Ghana Cedis made in 2009.
Mr. Edward Atagabe, Board Chairman of the Builsa Community Bank, said the bank in 2010 recorded GH�824,032 as against operational income of GH�627,567 an increase of GH�196,465 making 31.3 per cent
He said the bank�s total deposits for the year under review amounted to GH�3,343,417 against GH� 2,429,012 in 2009, an increase of 37%. He said as part of the Bank�s Corporate Social Responsibility, GH�3,533.00 went into donations in the area of education of needy children, culture, and agriculture.
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