Chiefs and politicians cautioned not to meddle in rural bank operations

The President of Group Ideal, Nii Kotei Dzani, has said chiefs and politicians should not be encouraged to meddle in the administrative affairs of Rural and Community Banks in the country. According to him, such interferences affect the sector’s effectiveness and efficiency of operations, and hinders growth of the rural banking sector.

He made this assertion at the just-ended 6th Rural and Community Banking Week celebration, under the theme ‘Rural banking key to National Development’.

According to him, when chiefs push for funds it is normally not rejected because they are custodians of the land. However, recovering the funds becomes a major challenge. This does not help in meeting customer demands.

Nii Kotei Dzani noted that ensuring a rural banking system devoid of political and chieftaincy interferences will go a long way to expedite government’s rural banking industrialisation agenda.

He also urged the Bank of Ghana to reconsider the capital requirement and timeline for meeting the requirement for indigenous commercial banks compared to that of the foreign commercial banks. These foreign banks often-times have more financial muscle than the indigenous banks. He stressed, “It is important that we grow our own”.

“Rural and community banks play a pivotal role in the rural industrialisation of our country. Government after 40 years may have to reconsider the concept of rural banks, so we provide it with the necessary assistance in order to take off with government’s policy of rural industrialisation,” Nii Dzani said.

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He further stated that a lot of the commercial banks also operate branches in these rural settings, thus giving rural banks unfair competition. He therefore urged that the financial and banking needs of rural dwellers be made to rest mostly with rural banks – hence his plea to push more funds into this sector so as to ensure its expansion and growth.

The Banking Week celebration is an opportunity for rural banks in the country to assess their activities and challenges over the period, and to deliberate on the way forward and how rural banks should improve on rendering good services to its clients in the region.

Nii Kotei Dzani was given a special recognition award at the event for his excellence and illustrious service as an Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Statesman.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia – who was Keynote Guest Speaker of the event – was also awarded at the same ceremony.

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