GN Fund Management wants to take rural banks public

Gold Coast Fund Management(GCFM) has said it is ready to support rural banks that are yet to meet the Central Bank’s GH¢1million stated capital requirement get listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) in order to stay in business.

Kwame Asumaning, Chief Executive Officer of GCFM, which is the fund management subsidiary of Group Nduom (GN) said: “We are ready to assist rural banks unable to raise the GH¢1million as minimum capital required by BoG to get onto the stock market or any way of supporting them financially with structured arrangement to meet the requirement.”

Speaking at the Northern Ghana Rural Banks Seminar in Tamale, he said getting listed or the ability to raise the money would help the rural banks grow to be able to contribute their quota towards the development of the catchment areas as well as the nation.

The event, which brought together some staff of universal banks, stakeholders and some managers of rural banks within the three regions, was aimed at deepening Group Nduom’s relationship with its customers and industry players in the rural banking sector as well deliberate on issues that will help boost economic activities with the operation so the banks in that areas.

The Bank of Ghana in 2015 raised the minimum paid-up capital requirement of all Rural and Community Banks (RCB) in Ghana from GH¢300,000 to GH¢1million. All the 141 RCBs were expected to raise their paid-up capital to GH¢500,000 by December 2016 and GH¢1million by December 2017.

So far less than half have met the requirement with the rest, led by the Association of Rural Banks (ARB), in talks with the Central Bank to reconsider the stated for some and extend the period for others.

According to him, GN Bank, which is a subsidiary of Group Nduom, is strengthened by the competition in the rural banking sector, hence the move to sustain financial integration. “With 25 years of good standing in the banking sector, the Gold Coast Fund Management has created jobs and added value to rural banking,” he stated.

He noted that the cooperation with the rural banks in transacting business within their catchment areas has helped to increase and expand businesses and that of the smallholder farmers. He urged the management of the rural banks to adopt innovative measures that will help encourage the public to save with them.

The Upper West Regional Manager of GCFM, Augustine Tugbog stressed the need for financial institutions to enhance the capacity of their workers to deliver quality services to achieve the goal of the organization.

He assured the rural banks that the organization has no intention of taking over their firms and businesses but rather to assist them to grow. He urged rural banks to adopt modern technologies, noting that “these days, technology answers everything and therefore there is the need for you to be abreast with it.”

Chief Executive of GN Life, William Antwi, also stressed the need for financial institutions to increase their capital base and also ensure customers have value for their insurance policies. “To increase customer base and premium, there is the need to have cordial relations to attract more clients to save with the organizations,” he added.

Some operators of the rural banks commended management for the initiative saying it will help deliberate on issues affecting the rural banks and measures to adopt to revamp the financial sector.