The Association of Rural Banks, CEOs and directors of rural and community banks are gearing up for the 22nd Biennial General Meeting (BGM) and the 4th Rural Banking Excellence Awards.
The much-anticipated event, which has been scheduled for 17th November through to 19th November, will be held on the theme ‘The Role of Rural Banks: Growing Resilient RCBs in the Contemporary Ghanaian Economy’.
The primary objective of this Biennial General Meeting is to review the performance and activities of all major stakeholders of the association, other developments within the rural banking industry, and elect new Council Members to steer the affairs of the association for the next two years.
This year’s event will have the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, as the Special Guest of honour who is expected to make a regulatory pronouncement and address a regulatory thorny issue; notable among these is the compliance of the new corporate governance directive for all rural banks.
Knowledgeable and experienced industry players including Board Chairman of the ARB Apex Bank PLC, Dr. Toni Aubynn; Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank PLC, Alex Kwesi Awuah; among others are also expected to make governance and operational remarks with regard to happenings in the industry, with the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong, expected to give an opening welcome address.
The acting National President for the Association of Rural Banks, Kwame Owusu Sekyere Esq, will be speaking on several issues bothering the management of various rural and community banks, such as locked-up funds with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); the need for the rural banks to have adequate capital – as it will serve as a strong buffer to cushion against losses emanating from credit and operational risks, among others.
Rural and community banks play a major role in ensuring that Bank of Ghana’s National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy (NFIDS) is achieved successfully. Since they are in the communities, their products and services are tailored to incorporate everyone.
Furthermore, rural and community banks’ staff and management who have positioned themselves well in the industry will be awarded for their hard work, dedication and commitment in the year under review at the 4th Rural Banking Awards, which will be held to climax the 22nd BGM.
Rural and community banks contribute essentially to the economic development of the country as they support micro small medium enterprises (MSME), especially in the rural parts of the country.
This major role leads to financial inclusion and poverty reduction, and helps in bridging the gap between urban areas and the rural economy.
The Association of Rural Banks is the apex body of all rural and community banks in Ghana. It has a membership of over 147 rural and community banks with more than eight hundred and fifty (850) branch networks, providing banking services throughout the country.
RCBs have 6.5million customers, employing more than 15,000 permanent staff. The association has been supporting and promoting advocacy programmes through which the banks can make meaningful contributions to the development of agriculture, commerce and the growth of micro medium and small-scale enterprises in the rural communities.
The association, however, works closely with the ARB Apex Bank PLC to achieve industry purpose.