In 1981 thirty-one (31) Rural Banks came together to form the Rural Bankers Association (the name was later changed to Association of Rural Banks-Ghana).
In line with registration of businesses in Ghana, the Association was registered under the Companies Code 1963 (Act 179) as a company limited by guarantee.
The main objectives of the Association are as follows:
- To provide and exchange information on rural banking practices in Ghana.
- To serve as a forum for the discussion of problems of rural and community banks and their possible solutions.
- To promote and strengthen the relationship among rural and community banks in Ghana to achieve the objectives of the rural banking concept.
- To seek ways and means by which the Association can contribute to the development of agriculture, commerce, industry and the general well-being of the people in the rural areas of Ghana.
- To undertake or contribute to the education of rural communities on the purpose and work of rural and community banks.
- To place the services of the Association at the disposal of the Bank of Ghana, the ARB Apex Bank and other organizations both inside and outside Ghana in pursuance of the matters relating to the rural and community banking and rural development.
- To support the ARB Apex Bank PLC in all its activities which are to build capacity to strengthen the rural and community banks.
By 1985 some of the rural banks were bedeviled with problems tended to erode the benefits of the rural banking scheme which were beginning to be manifested in the few rural banks which were operating satisfactorily.
To address the problems of rural banks, the Association with the support of Bank of Ghana pursued a wide-ranging programme of training for Directors and all levels of rural banks staff – Managers, Accountants, Project Officers and other staff in virtually all areas of banking.
In 1994 the Bank of Ghana withdrew the technical services such as cheque clearing, specie supply and treasury management which it was providing for the rural banks. At this point, the Association had no alternative than to arrange for an institution which could deal with the rural banks in a holistic basis.
In collaboration with Bank of Ghana and World Bank, the Association of Rural Banks commissioned Messrs Sycip Gorres Velayo & Co (SGV) Consultants in 1996 to study the situation of rural banks and recommend solutions drawing the experiences of the rural banking systems of the Netherlands and the Philipines.
The SGV & Co’s Completion Report on the study recommended that an Apex Institution should be set up for the rural banks to provide technical, managerial and financial support.
In April, 1998 the Association of Rural Banks in conjunction with Bank of Ghana and Government of Ghana, commissioned Messrs J.S Addo Consultants to prepare a feasibility report and business plan for the establishment of an Apex Bank for the rural banks.
An interim Board of Directors known as the Transition Apex Steering Committee (TASC) was constituted on 22nd September, 1998 and tasked with the responsibility of establishing the Apex Bank.
The Committee was under the chairmanship of the Governor of Bank of Ghana with 4 representatives from the Association of Rural Banks-Ghana including the then President of the Association, Dr. Sam Dufu.
The bank was registered as a public limited liability company and incorporated on 4th January, 2000. ARB Apex Bank commenced business on 2nd July, 2002
The Association of Rural Banks is the apex body of all rural banks in Ghana. Association of Rural Banks – Ghana, has a membership of 147 Rural and Community Banks with more than 850 branches.
To ensure that Rural Banks operates as effective and efficient Rural Financial intermediaries and to also serve as vehicles for Rural development and Poverty alleviation.
- To be the mouthpiece of all rural banks
- To protect, promote and defend the interest of rural banks
- To co-operate and collaborate with ARB Apex Bank PLC to build and sustain a positive identity and image for rural banks.
- To be a centre of information of rural banking and the economic activities in the areas of operation of each rural bank.
- To collaborate with the ARB Apex bank PLC to train directors and staff of rural banks.
- Commitment to Good Corporate Governance and business.
- Pursuit of high professional standards and best practices.
- Commitment to the discharge of our Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) towards the communities in which our member banks operate.
Adherence to integrity, honesty and transparency in business dealings with other