Ejuraman Rural Bank support Ejura-Sekyeredumase Famers' Day
Ejuraman Rural Bank is committed to sharing part of its profit annually to improve the socio-economic life of the dwellers of the communities that it operates. It is in this regard that the Bank supported the Ejura-Sekyeredumase Municipal Assembly with items like knapsack sprayers, wellington boots, cutlasses and cash for this year’s Farmers Day.
Apex Bank & RCBs donate GH¢417K to support fight against COVID 19
The ARB Apex Bank Limited and the Rural and Community Banks, RCBs in the country have donated an amount of GH¢ 417,000 to support the fight against COVID 19 pandemic.
The amount is the contribution of ARB Apex Bank and the Rural and Community Banks towards the GH¢10 million agreed by the Ghana Association of Bankers to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. Business & Financial Times can confirm that the Association has officially acknowledged receipt of the amount contributed by the Rural Banks and ARB Apex Bank.
The amount is to help support government’s initiative to provide PPEs for the health facilities across the country as well as providing all the needed logistics and special remuneration package for frontline health workers who are risking their lives every day to offer the critical services required to treat and provide all the preventive measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.
The rural banks and the ARB Apex Bank have committed to this initiative by the Ghana Association of Bankers because Rural Banks are found in every nook and cranny of the country and that the amount will go a long way to support coronavirus cases as well as equip health facilities located in communities where the Rural Bank operates.
GCX, ARB Apex Bank launch GHS¢50m support for Ghanaian Smallholder Farmers
The Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX), with the collaboration of ARB Apex Bank, launched the electronic warehouse receipt (e-WR) financing program.
The ARB Apex has set aside over GH¢50 million to commence the program. This is the start of the provision of credit/loans to farmers, based on their GCX electronic warehouse receipt.
In other words, farmers do not need to pledge houses and cars for use as collateral; their commodities deposited into a GCX certified warehouse are enough.
This is being done “to achieve the goal of true development of the agricultural value chain and improve the lives of rural communities” stated the CEO of GCX Dr Kadri Alfah. “Greater access to financing and a diverse set of credit facilities is critical,” he added.
ARB Apex bank is the first partner bank of GCX to have issued loans to farmers using their commodities stored at a GCX certified warehouse as collateral and have estimated two hundred thousand farmers to benefit from this novel product in the first year with room for upscaling significantly once concept takes root.
“Even though the RCBs have been lending to the Agricultural sector, this collaboration provides an opportunity for the RCBs to upscale and lend to more farmers since the risk in this system is nearly eliminated.” Kojo Mattah, the CEO of ARB Apex Bank said. The CEO of GCX, Dr Kadri Alfah remarked, “This will give Ghanaian farmers the working capital they need to sustain their business activities in between each harvesting season as well as give them greater purchasing power for seeds, fertilizers and other inputs”.
The operations of the Ghana Commodity Exchange solves numerous problems that have confronted Ghanaian farmers and their markets for years; problems ranging from post-harvest losses, sale of unstandardized commodities, being price-takers, delayed payment for commodities sold and inability to access credit due to collaterals demanded from banks.
Present to pledge their support was the IFC World Bank Group with financial support from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Doreen Oppan, the Project lead for Ghana WRS in an address said, “The IFC Ghana WRS Project- a technical assistance project- would continue to jointly facilitate technical support, capacity development and education activities for the rural and community banks and their network of farmers.”
Director of the Ashanti Regional Coordinating council, Ebenezer Ntow Ayisi who was present at the launch said; “The innovations on offer from the Ghana Commodity Exchange can indeed only be described as providing a different future for agriculture in Ghana….A future where farmers and buyers have the opportunity to apply grading standards to their produce, obtain suitable prices for their wares and now a future where farmers can go into banks to obtain loans.”
The Exchange encourages banks and other financial institutions to participate in warehouse receipt financing because it offers the opportunity to minimize the risk of loss of value of the collateral (stored commodity) by monitoring movements in its market value and using margining and price risk management instruments with up to date market data analysis and notifications.
Loss of value is further minimised due to the structured regular inspection carried out by an FDA-approved GCX warehouse operator to ensure that the stored commodity retains its value.
The work of the Ghana Commodity Exchange in facilitating high quality, certified commodities, providing secured storage and structured trading services with price discovery, and providing smallholder farmers with the opportunity to benefit from the warehouse receipt financing scheme is the transformation we have all waited for the agricultural sphere.
Government committed to strengthening Rural Banks – ARB APEX Bank
The Deputy Managing Director of ARB APEX Bank, Mr. Alex Kwasi Awuah, has reassured Ghanaians of government’s commitment to strengthening rural and community banks amidst the ongoing banking reforms. Mr. Awuah said the Bank of Ghana (BOG) was collaborating with the APEX Bank, the sole regulatory institution of rural banks, to put effective mechanisms in place to boost operations to improve the rural economy.
He gave the assurance when he addressed the Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders of the Gomoa Community Bank at Winneba-Junction.
He said the Apex Bank was working hard to offer the necessary financial support to rural banks to enable them to perform their required functions and that some distressed rural banks were being assisted to meet the one-million Ghana cedis BOG share capital requirement.
The Deputy MD urged the boards, management, staff, customers, and shareholders of rural banks to discard the notion that government would run down rural and community banks.
He said the BOG had given a deadline for those banks to meet the minimum share capital requirement by the end of February 2020 and that the APEX Bank was working hard to keep them in operation.
He expressed the hope that all rural banks would be able to meet the deadline with effective mobilisation of liquidities through APEX Bank’s support to distressed banks to sustain them.
Mr. Awuah urged shareholders, board, management, and staff of the Gomoa Community Bank to buy more shares to boost its operations.
He commended the Bank for its successful operations through prudent management and sustainability after merging with three banks namely; Eastern Gomoa Assin Rural Bank at Gomoa Dominase, Gomoa Ajumako Rural Bank at Gomoa Afransi, and Gomoa Rural Bank at Apam.
Mr. Thomas Arthur, the Acting Chairman of the Board of Directors, praised the shareholders for their resolution to empower the Board of Directors to look for strategic investors to invest in the Bank.
He said the merger had helped the development of the rural economy in the respective districts and sustained employment and mobilisation of funds.
It had also saved teachers from commuting to and from Winneba and Agona Swedru to receive their salaries at the end of the month.
Mr. Isaac Arkhurst Yamoah, the Administrator of Association of Rural Banks, Central Regional Chapter, said the merging of three rural banks had brought the needed glory to Gomoa communities and asked the citizens to contribute their quota towards boosting the rural banking sector.
He added that it was regrettable that people in Gomoa had denied their own banks even though no commercial or offshore bank was prepared to establish branches there and urged people to patronise the rural banks.
He urged the citizens, both home and abroad, to recommend Gomoa Community Bank to investors, especially well-to-do Ghanaians, to buy more shares to enhance its operations.
Mr. Appiah Thompson, the Board Member of the Bank, urged shareholders and customers not to entertain any fears since there was no cause for alarm about the operations of the Bank.
He said the Bank was making frantic efforts to hold an Annual General Meeting in February 2020 to declare the state of affairs to shareholders and appealed to them to buy more shares to boost its operations.
Obirifo Ahor Ahunako Ankobeah II, Omanhene of Gomoa Assin Traditional Area, urged the people to own the bank and ensure it thrived because its collapse would be a big blow to the area’s economy.
He pledged to buy 5,000 Ghana cedis shares, in addition to other investments he had made in the Bank, to increase its capital base.