The Bolgatanga Branch Manager of ARB Apex Bank, Pascal Nkulenu Zinzendorf, says he fears rural and community banks are likely to fold up following the inability of most of them to meet the mandatory minimum stated capital of GHC500,000.00 as required by the Bank of Ghana, BoG.
BoG has increased the minimum stated capital of rural banks in the country from GHC300,000.00 to GHC500,000.00. The increment will be effective December, this year.
BOG, according to Mr. Zinzendorf, will subsequently consider revising the minimum stated capital of the banks by doubling it to 1million Ghana Cedis by December 2017.
"This implies that all rural banks have to meet the requirement before the deadline or risk being banned from operation by BoG. It also implies that any prospective rural or community bank must raise the above stated amount before it will be allowed to operate", Mr. Zinzendorf explained
He was quick to add that, "the banks will be given a grace period, say three years or so to help them organise themselves properly to meet the requirement".
The renowned banker was speaking at the occasion of the 16th Annual General Meeting of Builsa Community Bank in Sandema, the district capital of Builsa North in the Upper East Region.
He, therefore, appealed to all shareholders to as a matter of urgency buy more shares to enable the banks meet the BoG requirement in order to continue to stay in business.
For him, another major panacea that could relieve the banks from any potential closure was to opt for mergers and acquisitions.
He said, when the rural and community banks merged, they would become financially endowed and resilient enough to expand their frontiers to many parts of the country and resist any threat of survival.
"I would also urge you(the rural banks) not to completely ignore the option of mergers and acquisitions to build bigger and stronger banks in the region. This idea of community ownership should be a thing of the past.
"You should think of business as business and not merely as a community business so you can expand your frontiers to other parts. One strong bank is good for a region than five or so banks which are financially handicapped", Mr. Zinzendorf admonished.
He hinted the ARB Apex bank as part of strategies to rebrand to appeal to many customers and enhance the image of the rural banks, was introducing Automated Teller Machines, ATMs in the banks.
He asked all Municipal and District Assemblies, MDAs and opinion leaders to support the rural banks to grow by virtue of their immense contributions to the development of the respective communities as part of their corporate social responsibilities.
The General Manager of the BUCO Bank, Awudu Hayatudeen, disclosed the Bank, since its establishment in 1996 had been consistent in its support to many communities in both the Builsa North and Builsa South Districts in the discharge of its corporate social responsibilities, especially in the areas of health, education and water.
Source: Francis Dabre Dabang/ email: [email protected]
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