Bank of Ghana vows strict surveillance over rural banks

The Bank of Ghana (BOG) has vowed to exercise strict surveillance over rural/community banks to instill sanity and discipline into their operations.

Mr K. S. Osei-Bonsu, Chief Manager, Banking Supervision Department, BOG, said it was important the boards and managements of the banks adopted sound and healthy banking practices.

He was addressing the 21st annual general meeting of the Otuasekan Rural Bank at Kofiase in the Asante-Mampong Municipality.

Mr Osei-Bonsu said with the increased and deepening dimension of operations of rural banks coupled with the increase and sophistication in the incidence of crime, the normal supervisory functions of management would not be enough to achieve the desired internal controls and discipline.

He said there was the need to strengthen the internal audit functions including employment of auditors with information technology (IT) background to provide independent assessment of the adequacy of and compliance with the bank’s established policies and procedures.

He gave assurance of the BOG’s support to ensure steady growth and development of an efficient rural banking system, capable of initiating appropriate financial packages and products to boost especially the rural economies.

Mr Osei-Bonsu condemned the tendency for some shareholders of rural banks to constitute themselves into “concern shareholders clique”, out there just to find fault and spread hurting rumors about the directors and staff of the banks.

This, he said, was unhelpful to the building of public confidence in the banks – affecting patronage and leading the banks into incipient distress.

Dr Nana Akowuah Boamah, the Board Chairman, said the bank made a profit after tax of GH¢343,808 in 2009, representing 79 per cent increase over the previous year’s figure of GH¢191,903.

Deposits also rose from GH¢6,744,148 to GH¢9,168,188 while total assets grew from GH¢8,014,190 to GH¢11,170,250.

The bank’s loans and advances came to GH¢4,724,484.48 and this was disbursed to customers into agriculture, trading, transport, industries and other productive sectors.

Nana Otuo Adjei Acheampong, Kofiasehene, advised the shareholders to increase their shareholding to expand the bank’s capital base.

Source: GNA

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