The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Frank Adongo Fuseini, has lauded the management of rural and community banks for making greater economic and social impact in the country, especially in rural areas.
"The concept of rural and community banks has over the decades bridged the yawning gap that hitherto existed between rural and urban financial transactions," he stressed.
The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister who made the commendation at the 6th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Bongo Rural Bank on Saturday, also observed that rural and community banks were able to mobilise savings in rural communities and invest some of the savings for good returns, and also provide credit to micro-enterprises in their operational areas.
He said this would go a long way to trigger the needed growth and development in the local economies.
Mr Fuseini noted that, rural banks were very critical stakeholders in the successful implementation of government's flagship programmes such as the "Planting for Food and Jobs" and other pro-poor interventions like the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty [LEAP], as funds were mostly channelled through such banks to state agencies to withdraw and disburse to beneficiaries.
He attributed the upsurge of panic withdrawals and rampant closure of accounts by customers of late to weak supervision, and noted that the Bank of Ghana had identified poor banking practices as part of the problem and was dealing with it.
He commended the management of the Bongo Rural Bank for remaining resilient in the midst of all the challenges making the bank one of the best rural and community banks in the country.
The Board Chairman of the Bongo Rural Bank, Azitariga Gaaga Akayerige, in his AGM report, announced that, the bank ended this year's third quarter with a stated capital of GH₵1.23 million, which he noted, exceeded the mandatory minimum capital requirement set by the Bank of Ghana.
He encouraged management and staff of the bank to keep up their sterling performance.
Mr Akayerige also revealed that the bank's profit appreciated from GH₵260,535.00 in 2016 to GH₵292,295.00 in 2017, representing, a 12 per cent rise.
The bank also succeeded in increasing its total assets from GH₵3,609,056.00 to GH₵5,747,288.00 during the period under review.
Other financial indices of the bank such as total deposits also rose to GH₵4,845,658.00 in 2017 from the previous year's figure of GH₵3,266,239.00.
Its net worth also went up from the 2016 figure of GH₵205, 718.00 to GH₵608,118.00 as at the end of December, 2017.
The Bongo District Chief Executive, Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga, gave the assurance that as the major shareholder in the bank, the Assembly would continue to lend its support to the bank as well as play effective roles in its sustenance and growth.
He noted that the bank's existence over the years had positively impacted on businesses in the district and also, improved upon other basic economic activities.