ARB Apex Bank to engage graduates for rural banks

ARB Apex Bank Limited, the umbrella body of rural and community banks (RCBs), is to support RCBs to engage young graduates from the country’s universities and polytechnics.

The aim is to enhance RCBs human resource capacity for the delivery of efficient banking services in the country.

The Apex Bank will take the responsibility of paying the graduates salaries during the initial period of attachment and the training of the graduates who would preferably be citizens or residents within the catchment area of RCBs.

Mr. Eric Osei-Bonsu, Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, announced this in a speech read on his behalf at the 21st annual general meeting of the shareholders of Sonzele Rural Bank Limited at Jirapa in the Upper West Region on Saturday.

The Sonzele bank, the first rural bank to be established in the Region, had four agencies located at Nadowli, Lambussie, Wa and Han.

Mr Osei-Bonsu urged the RCBs to continue to upgrade their Information and Technology infrastructure and processes to improve customer turn-around and enhance quality and efficiency of their customer delivery services and thereby promote their competitiveness.

He reiterated the need for the banks to consider cooperative mergers as a way of sustaining their ability to provide better financial services in a wider catchment area, warning that any of them could be liquidated if they did not have the strength to raise the required minimum capital.

He said a strong bank could also ward-off the threat of competition from stronger rural and commercial banks that might be operating near the RCBs.

Mr. Albert Bosoro, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sonzele Rural Bank, announced that the bank recorded a pre-tax profit of GH¢287,146 for 2010 as against GH¢377,536 declared in 2009, which showed a decrease of 24 per cent.

He attributed the decrease to a decline of over 50 per cent in Treasury bill rates and other money market instruments from 2009 to 2010; their over reliance on government securities and the huge money spent on computerization.

To offset this, he said, the Board and Management of the bank had taken steps to diversify its products, develop innovative ones and also intensify micro-finance activities.

Mr. Abu Kansangbata, Nadowli District Chief Executive, said the success of every rural bank should be measured by its sensitivity and readiness to address the needs of its customers including the rural poor and not by the margin of profit it generated.

Although every corporate body had a prime objective to make profit the concept of rural banking placed greater emphasis on social responsibility rather than maximizing profit in its operational area.

He cautioned the management of the bank to be extra vigilant against fraudsters into the industry.

Source: GNA

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