Business News of Tue, 8 May 20180

Apex Bank wants gov’t to channel Common Funds through rural, community banks

Managers of Apex Bank have proposed local assemblies allow Rural and Community Banks to manage their resources from the common fund.

They argue district assemblies have often relied on rural and community banks because they find it easier conducting transactions than at commercial banks.

“We are in every community and whenever the assemblies need help they fall on the rural banks because of often bureaucracies with commercial banks.

"We feel it is just appropriate that the rural banks are given the opportunities to manage some of these assemblies common fund”, Managing Director, Kojo Mattah, said at the sidelines of the bank’s annual general meeting in Kumasi.

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There are currently 254 district assemblies across the length and breadth of the country.

Millions of Ghana cedis are disbursed to these local assemblies every month for administrative and developmental projects.

Mr Mattah believes such arrangement will strengthen the capital base of rural and community banks.

“We think it is another way of encouraging or strengthening the banks in the rural areas,” he said.

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Rural and community banks presently have over 700 banks branches in all districts across the country.

This provides a good base for the financial inclusion campaign.

Mr Mattah says wide coverage gives an opportunity for the banks to become the main driving force for government’s industrialization projects.

“We have over seven hundred rural banks branches, so we think we are in the position to support government’s one district one factory program. Because when there are factories in every district, they will need banking services and we are on the ground,” he said

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The rural and community banks have supported the implementation of government’s planting for food and jobs program.

Mr Mattah revealed, “We participated in receiving the deposits from the farmers and thereafter they will go to the places they collected their input. We have used our network to achieve this so we believe with our network we will be able to support the government”.

FOREIGN REMITTANCES

Mr Mattah says ARB Apex bank continues to grow foreign inward remittance business with its partners Western Union, Money Gram international and Unity Link

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Transactions Western Union in the year under review was 235,414 valued at GHS 225 million as compared with 247,700 transaction counts recorded in 2016 valued at GHS 213.9 million.

The total volume of Money Gram transactions for the year under review was 89,893 with a value of GHS 82.6 million compared with 90,165 with a value of GHS 69.8 million recorded in 2016.

Business from Unity Link picked up considerably from 2,774 transactions with a value of GHS 2.3 million recorded in 2016 to 8,265 transactions with a value of GHS 8.5 million in 2017.

"We want to appeal to managers of rural and community banks to ensure strict compliance in the payment of foreign remittances to avoid ‘call back’ of funds which will invariably lead to a burden on your profit or loss account," he urged.

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