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Regional News of Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Source: ghanaiantimes.com.gh

Government urged to support rural banks

Michael Wilberforce Osae,  General Manager of Amantin and Kasei Community Bank Michael Wilberforce Osae, General Manager of Amantin and Kasei Community Bank

The General Manager of Amantin and Kasei Community Bank in the Bono East Region, Michael Wilberforce Osae, has appealed to the government to give more incentives to rural and community banks (RCBs).

He said this would enable RCBs to expand financial support towards the development of agriculture and other sectors of the economy.

The General Manager said that, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was imperative for government to help create fiscal space for RCBs, to assist critical sectors such as agriculture and Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs.)

Mr Osae made the call in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of the Amantin and Kasei Community Bank’s 15th and 16th annual general meeting of shareholders at Amantin.

He urged the government to reduce corporate tax, indicating that “the significant increase in corporate tax from 8 per cent to 25 per cent in 2016 was taking a huge toll on performances of RCBs.”

He said, “RCBs were supporting farmers who cultivated cereals and tuber crops and reared livestock and poultry. We can do more to boost the growth and development of agriculture and other businesses if the government can give us more incentives.”

Addressing shareholders, the board chairman of Amantin and Kasei Community Bank, Dr John Oduro Boateng, announced that the bank made impressive strides despite operational challenges in 2019 and 2020.

He said the bank made a 267.84 per cent increase in profit after tax from a loss of GH¢540,609 in 2019 to GH¢907,351 in 2020.

Dr Boateng said total deposits went up from GH¢29,395,267 to GH¢44,530,023, representing 51.49 per cent growth, while investment soared by 63.09 per cent, jumping from GH¢10,144,294 to GH¢16,544,294.

He stated that the bank’s total assets grew from GH¢34,768,158 in 2019 to GH¢49,441,566 in 2020.

During the period under review, the bank increased its short-term investments portfolio by 63.09 per cent, rising from GH¢10,144,294 to GH¢16,544,294, Dr Boateng disclosed.

He noted that the bank closed the 2020 financial year with a stated capital of GH¢1,521,546 as against the industry’s threshold of GH¢1 million.

Dr Boateng said that the bank was in a good position to meet all the regulatory requirements and adhere to new policy directions from the Bank of Ghana.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Acting Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, Alex Kwasi Awuah, urged RCBs to initiate measures to check poor credit mismanagement.

He said the move would help banks avoid running into liquidity challenges and improve their profit margins.

Mr Awuah asked RCBs to institute operational control structures and strict adherence to banking rules to curb banking fraud.

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