Rural banks continue to be drivers for financial inclusion in Ghana – Addison

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Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Dr Ernest Addison has said that Rural and community banks continue to be drivers for financial inclusion and socio-economic development in Ghana.

He stated that going down memory lane, rural and community banking was conceptualised at a time when access to bank credit for farmers and traders, especially in rural areas, was inadequate.

It was envisaged as a unique business model where rural banks thrived based on ommunity empowerment, community ownership and community participation in governance.

With this background, the first rural bank was established in Agona-Nyakrom, a farming community in the Central Region in 1976, and a year later, a second rural bank was established in Biriwa, a fishing community also in the Central Region.After these two rural banks, several others were licensed, including the Akuapem Rural Bank in 1981, which was the third for the Eastern Region.

With the increasing number of rural and community banks, an Association of Rural Banks (ARB) was formed by the then 30 existing rural banks to support RCBs in building capacity in areas such as risk management, credit analysis, and delivering financial literacy programs to the rural communities.

Subsequently, the Bank of Ghana issued comprehensive guidelines for the establishment of rural banks and introduced the Akuafo Cheque operations in cocoa growing areas in 1982. In 2000, the ARB Apex Bank was established as an umbrella body of RCBs, with 9 branch offices across the country. Thus, the Bank of Ghana regulates RCBs through the ARB Apex Bank.

Dr Addison said this while speaking at the 40th anniversary celebration of Akuapem Rural bank limited.

3news

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