Story: Kwadwo OWUSU ADUOMI
As of the end of June 30, 2021, the overall profitability of the rural banking sector was positive, and the sector recorded an annual growth of 27.4 per cent in total assets, which amounted to GHS6.5 billion.
This was disclosed by the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Dr Ernest Addison when he delivered a speech at the 40th-anniversary celebration of the Akuapem Rural Bank on Saturday, August 28, 2021.
According to Dr Addison, advances, deposits and investments also increased by 23.6, 31.2 and 50.1 per cent, respectively.
The sector’s non-performing loans ratio also declined to 11.5 per cent from 12.3 per cent a year earlier, signalling an improvement in asset quality.
Dr Addison said the BoG expects all rural and community banks to fully comply with the minimum capitalisation requirement of GHS1 million by the end of 2021 and maintain the increased capital unimpaired.
From 30 rural banks in the 1980s, the country now has 145 Rural and Community Banks with a branch network of about 851.
The increased number of rural banks Dr Addison noted had been accompanied by increased customer reach, technology deployment, as well as improved delivery of financial services within the local communities.