Rural banks urged to adapt to changing trends
Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) have been challenged to respond to the changing trends in the banking sector.
The Deputy Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, Mr Patrick Awuah, who made the call, said RCBs needed to put adequate measures in place to be able to rub shoulders with universal banks and non-bank institutions in the country.
He mentioned, social media and Internet (e-banking) banking, as some of the new areas being widely utilised by the universal banks to offer better services to their clients and also stay competitive.
Mr Awuah made the call at the 27th annual general meeting (AGM) of the La Community Bank Limited (LCBL) in Accra on Friday.
Presenting the financial statement, the Board Chairman, Mr Benjamin Akuete Gogo, said during the year under review, the bank’s expenditure soared as a result of high cost of resources needed for its operations.
“The challenge of incessant power outages, high cost of repairs and maintenance on equipment as well as high utility tariffs adversely affected our business operations,” he stated.
Consequently, he said, operating expenses rose to GH¢ 3.5 million, representing a 29 per cent increase over the 2013 figure of GH¢2.7 million.
In spite of the challenges, Mr Gogo indicated that the bank had put the necessary plans in place to ensure that it got maximum returns on its investments in the coming years.
During the year under review, Mr Gogo noted that the bank allocated an amount of GH¢100,000 to the La Township Development Fund and the La Educational Fund; GH¢50,000 for each project.
The financial institution also granted scholarships to nine students in second cycle and tertiary institutions, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 124.
Those, he said, were among various policy interventions the bank had made to ensure that it impacted positively on the economic and social lives of the people in the community.