The ARB Apex Bank Limited is strategically repositioning itself to help recapitalise rural and community banks so they could partner with government to implement some of its social flagship programmes.
The Bank, which serves as a mini central bank to the rural and community banks in the country, is currently sourcing for more funds to strengthen the rural banking effort, and this is besides its regulatory roles of the rural banks.
“We are in conversations and discussions with more than five development partners. And we are even planning to raise funds locally.
“We will soon hit the road to do a road show to raise bonds locally and to raise a GHC 100 million to support activities of rural and community banks”, Mr Kojo Mattah, Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, said at a function dubbed, “Time with the Managing Director”.
The event, organised by the Bank’s local Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF) of Ghana Trade Union Congress, was held under the theme: “ARB Apex Now and the ARB Apex in the Future”.
It was held as an interactive programme for the staff of the Bank to interact with the MD, who has been in office for barely eight months now, to share in his vision and deliberate on ways to return the Bank to profitability by the end of his term of office.
“We need the funds to be able to serve our customers as well. On our part from, we are also looking for funds from other development partners so that the rural and community banks will have funds to lend to their customers and to support their operations, especially in agriculture and commerce, Mr Mattah said.
“And this will enable the rural banks to be in the position to partner and support Government’s flagship programmes of One District One Factory as well as the Planting for Food and Jobs programmes.
Mr Mattah said for some time now, there had been a Bank of Ghana directive for the rural banks to recapitalise up to a million Ghana cedis, while the Governor of the Bank of Ghana has agreed with the rural banks to transfer funds from their income surplus to a stated capital.
He said some of the banks have already done that while the rest are in the process meeting the demand and so the move by the ARB Apex Bank would help the others to attain that feat, adding that hopefully, by the end of the first or second quarter, the discussions with the development partners would have materialised.
He said with regards to the local fund raising, Apex Bank was talking to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) “and very soon we shall hit the road”.
He commended the staff for showing commitment to help sustain the Bank, saying that “We agreed to do this so that the bonding will be improved and we would be able to interact with one another so that we will be a better team and have teamwork together to be able to improve the fortunes of the Bank”.
At the event, the staff pledged their commitment towards serving the rural and community banks more effectively, by adopting a 10-point pledge card which was launched by Mr John Amegashie, General Secretary of UNCOF of TUC together with Mr Roderick Ayeh, Chairman of the ARB Apex Bank local UNICOF.
The event was also graced by Dr Yaw Baah, the Secretary-General of the GTUC, who underscored the critical importance of the rural banks, and for that matter, the ARB Apex Bank played in the national economy and in the rural communities.
He urged the staff to work hard to justify their earnings as well as work in harmony with management of the Bank.
Mr Ayeh said the Union believed that a lot lies with the staff in ensuring that the bank met its target and becomes profitable and so they were posed to cooperate and work with the new MD to make that a reality.
Other staff all over the country also converged in Kumasi on Saturday to deliberate on ways to improve the fortunes of the bank.