The ARB Apex Bank PLC is seeking to raise GH₵25million additional shares in five years to bolster its capital base, and among others, implement some policy initiatives while being able to lend to rural and community banks (RCBs).
The move, which forms part of a newly approved strategic plan of the bank, according to the Managing Director, is to strengthen the bank’s Stated Capital which for the past 9 years has not been increased.
“The scope of the bank keeps increasing, and we have to serve the rural banks better. They are our shareholders and only customers; hence, we can only go to them, with approval of our board, to within five years mobilise some additional capital,” he said.
This will be done by floating GH₵5million shares yearly to achieve the target. “I believe that when we get it, it will help us to lend more to the good customers of the rural banks,” he added.
Also, given that the ARB Apex Bank hosts a lot of data and IT infrastructure of the rural banks, Mr. Awuah noted that the provision of the additional capital will enable the bank to invest more in the IT sector. This, he believes, will help to enhance the service provision.
“We have been making several attempts at getting additional money to the bank but it has been difficult. Once RCBs are our shareholders, we have to come back to them so that they subscribe to additional shares.”
The MD of ARB Apex Bank PLC stressed that through this they will be positioned to expand the scope of business of ARB Apex Bank and make it more sustainable. “The institution is very vital to the economy of Ghana, and I believe that together we can do more.”
Mr. Awuah announced the latest decision by the ARB Apex Bank while speaking at the maiden Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association of RCBs Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in Kumasi.
While addressing the CEOs, he recognised that breakthrough discoveries, such as financial technologies (fintech) firms and new technological inventions in the banking industry, are wiping off the traditional profit lines of RCBs daily.
The development, he stated, calls for the ingenuity of individual RCBs, as well as greater collaboration and deepened working relationships between RCBs and the ARB Apex Bank.
“We are therefore aware of the actual needs of our banks, and that of the industry at large; hence, we are committed to initiating the necessary policy interventions,” he stated.
Against this background, he said it is required for CEOs to become “abreast with challenging and changing times we are in.”
“Get yourselves acquainted with the economic situation, regulatory and governance issues to enable us to shape our banks better,” he said.
Also, he said there is need for RCB CEOs to constantly seek to improve their knowledge and leadership qualities to help meet the demands of contemporary RCBs management.
To this end, he said it is a key pillar of his administration to support any policy intervention within the ARB Apex Bank toward the personal and professional career development of RCB CEOs.
Mr. Awuah entreated RCBs to leverage the bank-wide mobile wallet service – GhanaPay, introduced by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS), to issue wallet accounts to existing and new customers, as well as set bank agents.
“Let us embrace this important national project and leverage the opportunity to grow our fee incomes,” he added.
Alex Kwasi Awuah, Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank PLC