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Business News Tue, 18 Dec 2001

Apex bank to become operative in April next year

Agona Swedru (Central Region) - The Apex Bank designed to cater for the vital requirements to rural banks would become operative in April next year.

Mr Emmanuel K. Kwapong, General Manager of Apex Bank, announced this when he addressed members of the Central Regional Chapter of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) at their general meeting at Agona Swedru at the weekend.

He said with effect from April the Bank would be represented at all the 11 clearing centres in the country to clear cheques for rural banks. Following this, the Apex bank's technical secretariat was currently in discussion with accredited printers to print MICR cheques for customers of the rural banks.

He said this was a major step forward to replace the different types of cheques various rural banks were using which did not conform to the standards. It would be a major image and confidence building measures for the rural banks.

Mr Kwapong announced that with funding support from the rural bank financial services project, the bank would open five branch offices in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Sunyani and Bolgatanga within the next two years.

These branches, he said, would act as heads for the cluster of rural banks around them, adding that, the proposed branches would be equipped with bullion vans to deliver cash to the rural banks in a timely fashion at their door steps.

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This, Mr Kwapong noted, would greatly enhance the current cash delivery service and also reduce the security risks encountered by the rural banks.

He said arrangements would be made to provide adequate training to managers of rural banks to enhance their professional capabilities. The Apex bank secretariat had already mapped out various problems undermining the efficiency and effective running of rural banks and every thing would be done to ensure that these bottlenecks were eliminated to make them work satisfactorily in order to win the confidence and trust of their customers all the time.

He reminded managers, directors and workers of the various rural banks that the cornerstone of every successful organisation was strict internal discipline and observance of rules and regulations governing such organisation, and charged them to accept the challenge to cultivate these qualities to enable them to sustain the interest of their numerous customers.

Mr James Eric Nkrumah, President of the Central Region Chapter of the association, advised the member banks that had not paid up their membership contributions towards the establishment of the Apex bank to do so without any further delay since they stood the risk of having their names struck off.

He announced that the regional chapter has acquired assets totalling 7.1 million cedis and invested 35 million cedis in treasury bills. He called for hard work to enable the association to achieve its objectives.

Source: .
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