Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Some Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) in the country, particularly those in the Ashanti region are appealing to government to help them retrieve their locked-up funds from some financial institutions including State Enterprises.

According to them, this has affected their Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and profitability levels, though they would perform far better if their locked-up funds were released to them.

They believe the availability of these funds would help them give more loans to support farmers as well as smaller businesses in their operational territories which the universal banks usually do not do.

Consequently, this would eventually improve the economic activities in the rural areas and contribute to the well-being of the poor citizens and the nation as a whole.

The rural banks in Ghana have exhibited resilience and continue to stand the test of time and have worked in the interest of their customers and shareholders as per their legitimate mandate as banks operating in their communities and serving critical financial intermediation for significant number of the Ghanaian populace.

The Bank of Ghana that regulates the subsector of the banking industry has taken a strong stance to ensure that rural banks, as wholly indigenous bank, perform their operations efficiently, to bring financial inclusion to the members of the communities.

In this regard, RCBs have not failed to pay customers their deposits or paid investors their money whenever they fall due; even in the midst of the financial clean up and in challenging macroeconomic environment.

Indeed, none of the 145 rural banks in the country was closed down or had their license revoked by the regulator because of insolvency or any corporate governance irregularities, as reportedly happened to some of the universal banks when the banking clean-up occurred recently.

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