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Mr Bennett Owusu- Twumasi, ARB APEX Bank Head of Professional Development and Training, has observed that mergers remained the solution to keep many Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) in business.
He said this is the way out for the RCBs to raise the new GH¢500,000.00 Bank of Ghana capital requirement.
Mr Twumasi made the observation in an address to mark the 25th anniversary of the Agave Rural Bank at Dabala, in the South-Tongu District of the Volta Region.
The occasion on the theme: “25 years of Innovative Service to our community,” was aimed at re-marketing the bank and reinvigorate stakeholder interest in its activities to attract more shares and customers.
Mr Twumasi was emphatic that by December 2014, all RCBs, which failed to meet the new capital requirement, would be liquidated.
He reminded the banks of a Danish Development Agency Fund, set aside to assist the RCBs interested in merging.
Mr Twumasi said raising the new capital from GH¢150,000.00 to GH¢500,000.00 is to strengthen the banks towards meeting the growing demands on them, having graduated into a new sphere which placed them on the same pedestal with the traditional banks.
He noted the enviable role of the RCBs in the economy and commended Agave Bank for performing beyond expectation and becoming tall among the 137 others in the country.
“For a rural bank to survive in such an economically deprived area as the Volta Region, the Agave Bank needs to be commended,” he said.
Mr Twumasi asked the Bank to push on, and not to be complacent.
Mr Francis Akoto, Board Chairman said the Bank had built a headquarters, opened an agency at Sogakope and established an education endowment fund.
He said a big challenge of the Bank is the low share base and appealed to shareholders to increase their shares.
Togbe Bina Lawluvi VI, President of the Volta Chapter of the RCBs said the merger concept which threatens the identity of individual banks could only be thwarted if shareholders and clients increase their shares to meet the new capital requirement.
Dr Bernard Glover, Member of the Council of State called for discipline in the banking sector to sustain the sector in the view of its role in development.
Some personalities were awarded, some posthumously for their roles in the success chalked out by the Bank over the years.