Rural banks to get code of ethics

News & Reports
The ARB Apex bank has engaged a consultant to develop a code of conduct and ethics for the rural banking system in the country.
The project, which is being undertaking under the Rural Financial Services Support Programme, will help mainstream the rural banking sector into the main banking operations in the country. It would also provide an avenue for critical analysis, monitoring and assessment of the performance of the rural banking system in the country.

Mr Emmanuel Kwapong, Managing Director of the ARB Apex bank, made this known at the 5th Annual General Meeting of shareholders of the Nsutaman Rural bank at Nsuta in the Sekyere West district on Saturday. He said a programme was also underway to clean up the share register of all rural banks in the country.

He stressed the need for rural banks to adopt aggressive but flexible measures in order to stay in the stiff competition currently going on in the banking sector.

Mr Kwapong advised rural banks to invest in income generating activities in the communities in which they operate and also reduce the dependence on government securities which were becoming unattractive. He asked the rural banks to strengthen their internal control mechanisms and take advantage of programmes being undertaking by the ARB Apex bank to build the capacities of their staff.

The Acting board chairman of the Bank, Dr Edward Richard Kwabena Dwemoh, said the bank’s total assets rose from 6.814 billion cedis in 2004 to 9.019 billion cedis in 2005 representing 32.5 per cent. He, however, said the bank’s profit before tax dropped from 315.255 million cedis in 2004 to 306.973 million cedis in 2005 representing 2.6 per cent.

Dr Dwemoh said the bank would strengthen its micro finance desk to expand group financing across various sectors of economic activities in its catchment’s area, while serious efforts would be made to open an agency for deposits mobilisation to help expand its operations.