How good leadership is transforming the fortunes of rural banks – Part II

File photo: Leaders of rural banks at a seminar


Last month, we discussed how good leadership has improved the fortunes of some rural banks.

We highlighted five CEOs whose short tenure of office have resulted in remarkable transformation in their respective banks.

The part two will spotlight 3 CEOs who have also elevated the fortunes of their respective banks in terms of improving key financial indicators and other non-financial performance since assumption of office.

The first rural bank we want to focus attention to is Suma Rural Bank in the Bono Region which has its head office at Suma Ahenkro in the Jama North district.

The bank CEO Mr. Kofi Acheampong who assumed leadership at the bank on 16th November,2021.

It is refreshing to mention in this write-up Mr. Kofi Acheampong has exceptional leadership skills such as passion to support staff, ambitious, visionary, ability to solve complex problems, can do spirit among others.

No wonder he has been able to transform the fortunes of the bank in a remarkable way in just two years of taking the mantle as CEO.

Here is a summary of his transformational achievements;

First of all, the bank’s profit improved significantly from a little over GH¢285,214.00 in 2021 to GH¢2.37 million in December 2023, representing impressive growth of 63.47%.

He has also recorded a profit of almost GH¢1 million in the first quarter of 2024. It is significant to note that the outstanding profit recorded was the highest in since the inception of the bank. The improved profitability can be attributed to cost optimization, operational efficiency, prudent investment, quality loan portfolio and others

Again, total assets surged by 75.16 percent from GH¢28.45 million in 2021 to reach GH¢ 49.84 million as of December while customer deposit grew astronomically from GH¢25.62 million to GH¢41.88 million representing remarkable growth of 63.47% at the same period.

From the management account, the bank has recorded total deposit of nearly GH¢54 million in the first quarter. The accelerated upswing of the deposit could be attributed to innovative deposit mobilization strategy and aggressive sales mindset inculcated in the staff by the CEO.

Apart from dramatic improvement in financial indicators, Mr. Acheampong has positively transformed the operations of the bank in other key areas to foster operational excellence and deepen financial inclusion.

For example, the operations of the microfinance department have been restructured and robust marketing department has been set up to spearhead marketing activities of the bank.

The recent EMU report by the ARB Apex Bank rated the bank as strong and ranked 23rd out of 147 rural banks. Prior to his assumption of office SRB was rated a satisfactory bank.

Commenting on his vision for the bank, Mr. Kofi Acheampong said “to ensure consistent growth in key performance indicators and position the bank as number one in Bono Region”.

He finally, attributed his success to the support of the board led by Mr. Afram Kwasi as well as key management personnel and the entire hardworking staff of Suma Rural Bank.

The next rural bank we want to consider is Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank in the Ashanti Region.

AKRB is one of the dominant and high performing brands in the rural banking inndustry.

Mr. Samuel Bonsu Sekyere is the current CEO of the bank. He assumed this top position on 1st January, 2022.

Mr. Sekyere is a result-oriented and astute banker with over 2 decades of banking experience.

He also possesses exceptional leadership qualities such as high integrity, humility, visionary, hardworking, results oriented among others.

Without exaggeration, we can say that Mr. Sekyere Bonsu has contributed remarkably to the fortunes of AKRB since his appointment as CEO.

Here is a highlight of some of his transformational achievements.

To begin with, the bank deposit grew by 53.87% to GH¢378.07 million in 2023 up from GH¢245.71 million in 2021.

In absolute terms deposit has increased by GH¢132.36 million despite the unfavorable macro-economic environment.

Furthermore, total assets have increased from GH¢300.15 million in December 2021 to GH¢460.04 million in December 2023, representing impressive growth of 53.27% while profit after Tax surged from GH¢4.92 million to GH¢17.17 million in the same period (December 2023). The profit recorded was the highest in the history of the bank and the second highest in the rural banking space in 2023 financial year.

The striking growth in profit was due to prudent investment, quality loan portfolio, robust cost management, diversification of income streams among others.

Additionally, Mr. Sekyere though prudent management has been able to sustain the bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) at an appreciable level of 37% as of December 2023. This is far above the regulatory benchmark of 10%.

The CAR signifies that AKRB is highly solvent and hence can meet its long-term liabilities and also withstand shocks.

It is significant to state that beyond improved financial performance Mr. Sekyere Bonsu has impacted positively on the bank’s fortunes in other areas.

For example, under his leadership the bank has been able to acquire additional branch at Adum, the business hub of Kumasi growing the number of branches to eleven.

In fact, this new branch is driving financial inclusion among MSMEs.

He has also restructured the IT unit by elevating it to a stand-alone department due to his ambition to leverage technology to offer seamless and real time banking solution.

Currently the bank is among a few RCBs that have their own Mobile APP.

Moreover, under his regime, several important policies have been formulated which have streamlined the bank’s operations making it compliant with regulations of the Bank of Ghana and the ARB Apex Bank.

Like his predecessor, Dr. Sarfo Kantanka, Mr. Sekyere has leveraged his outstanding leadership to win a number of awards for the bank thereby strengthening the AKRB brand.

Among the awards were: membership in the prestigious Ghana club 100 and CIMG Rural Bank of the year 2023, Rural bank of the year by the West Africa Business Excellence Awards 2024 and host of others.

It is worth mentioning that the humble CEO modestly acknowledged the support and commitment of the board, key management staff and the entire staff of AKRB as key drivers towards his achievements.

Commenting on his vision for the bank, this is what he said, “to position the bank as the leading and preferred rural bank in Ghana poised to transform and improve the lives and businesses of stakeholders through motivated and competent human resources, customer driven products, communication and the use of appropriate technology”.

He emphasized that his vision is aligned with the bank vision.

Another rural bank that deserves our attention is Bonzali Rural Bank in the Northern Region headquartered in Tamale.

The bank CEO is Dr. Augustine who assumed this highest office on 7th October,2020.

Dr. Ngmentoma Beakana is a transformational leader characterized by effective communication skills, courage, result oriented, visionary and many others. He is also a seasoned banker with over two decades of banking experience.

Undoubtedly, Dr. has performed exceptionally well through strategic transformation of the fortunes of Bonzali Rural Bank. This has therefore created superior value for the bank’s esteem shareholders.

Here is a summary of his transformational achievements

Foremost, profit increased significantly from GH¢408,33 in 2020 to GH¢4.09 million in 2023 representing impressive growth of 904.05%.

The improved profitability over the past three years has impacted positively on the bank’s net worth by moving it up from GH¢ 3.65 million in 2020 to GH¢7.68 million in December 2023. The growth in the bank’s net worth has also improved the bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio which stood at 21.62% at the same period. This is far above the minimum regulatory benchmark of 10%.

This implies that the bank is highly solvent and resilient. Moreover, under his leadership, deposit has grown significantly from GH¢35.2 million in 2020 to GH¢49.8 million in December 2023 marking a percentage growth of 41.54% while total assets surged from GH¢ 41.44 million to GH¢ 64,75 million in the same period representing a percentage growth of 56.25%. The financial indicators discussed above are living testament to Dr. Ngmentoma Beakana transformation achievement.

However, beyond growth in financial indicators, there are other non-financial performance that are worth mentioning.

Through effective turnaround strategy, he has transformed 4 unprofitable branches into profitable branches and has elevated the bank from unsatisfactory status to satisfactory in the Bank of Ghana rating. He has also helped to open the eleventh branch at Wulensi in the Nanumba South District. This has contributed positively to financial inclusion.

Above all, Dr. Ngmentoma Beakana has strategically repositioned and rebranded Bonzali Rural Bank in the rural banking fraternity.

Concerning his vision for the bank, this is his comment, “to lead Bonzali Rural Bank to become the most efficient and profitable rural bank in the Northern sector of Ghana.

He finally ascribed his phenomenal success to the board led by Alhaji Abdul-Hanan Iddrisu, key management staff and the entire staff of Bonzali Rural Bank.


It has been realized that good leadership has actually transformed the fortunes of Suma Rural Bank, Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank and Bonzali Rural Bank

It is therefore incumbent upon all RCBs to continue to strengthen leadership at the board level as well as management level. In this way, the sector will achieve significant growth. We want to conclude the article by quoting what the renowned leadership expert, John G. Maxwell said “Everything rises and falls on leadership”.

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