Dr. Tony Aubynn, President of the Western Region Association of Rural BankS (WEBA), has advised rural banks to properly organise Annual General Meetings (AGMs) that will reflect the views of shareholders for understanding and peaceful co-existence.
“The time has come to move away from the old ways of doing things, whereby decisions are taken by serious struggles, agitations and confrontations; in a certain sense, you could even see violence,” he said.
“We should move away from the informal approach to an updated one, since the rural banks have been in existence for over 30 years,” he advised rural banks.
Therefore, he encouraged rural banks across the country to use the existing regulation – which is poll-voting. Poll-voting is a legal requirement by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), and also the Company’s Act, that certain decisions of Boards and AGMs will be done through poll-voting.
“The value of your vote will reflect the value of your shares; because of AGMs, you will see someone with two shares but who is so vociferous he will not even allow someone with 10% of shares to talk,” he added.
He was speaking in an interview with the B&FT at an educational forum on poll-voting for shareholders of the various rural banks in the Western Region.
“The meeting is to get the shareholders to understand that there is a legal requirement for certain decisions to be taken through during poll-voting,” Dr. Aubynn said.
Also, he said, it is a means of raising more shares “because the more your shares, the bigger your voice; so, if you have fewer shares your voice is a little bit less loud.
“We are encouraging our shareholders throughout the region to get more shares so they can have more say at meetings; We also think it is also a way of deepening the formalisation of rural banks and modernising them in decision-making,” he added.
Mr. Curtis Brantuo-Head, Legal and Compliance of ARB Apex Bank, explained further that: “A poll is the procedure used at a general meeting of a company under which every ordinary shareholder present in person, or by proxy. ordinarily has one vote for every ordinary share held”.
According to him, poll-voting encourages more people to invest in a company. “Once you have a higher say in the company, you trade within and get more profit.”
He encouraged individuals to invest more in the rural banks to make profit as well as help the communities’ economy to grow.
He added that the education on poll-voting will be replicated in all rural banks across the country.
Nana Kwesi Ayemang, Omanhene of Lower Dixcove in the Ahanta West district of the Western Region, added that education on poll-voting should be frequent for shareholders to have an understanding of the need to vote and to avoid misunderstanding during AGMs.