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Rural banks in Upper West to form a regional bank

March 31, 2024
Rural banks in Upper West to form a regional bank

Mr Adams Sulley, the Chairman of the Sissala Rural Bank, has announced that discussions were in place to have a regional bank from the four community and rural banks in the Region to improve banking services.

Mr Adam Sulley said this during the 12th annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders of the Sissala Rural Bank at Tumu on the theme: “Two Decades of Banking Excellence and Community Impact”.

Mr Sulley said, “At the Upper West chapter level, the four Rural and Community banks in the region are in talks exploring the possibility of a regional bank, possibly merging Sonzele, Nandom, Lawra and Sissala rural bank towards having a regional bank”.

This he said would be achieved through engagement with the stakeholders with this proposed model to have a regional bank.

“Since benefits of such initiative will be the collective interest to achieve business consultation, integration, resilience, and other values for shareholders of the banks. It is interesting to know that Sonzele, Nandom have been around for the past four decades, Sissala Rural and Lawra have been around for only 20 years and will therefore stand to benefit from the optimum financial leverage of the older banks,” he emphasized.

He said the board undertook institutional reforms and set up a strategic plan from 2024 to 2027 and promised that with these plans, the board confidently anticipated that the shareholders of the banks would be paid dividends in 2026.

He reported that since October 2022, the directors decided to freeze the remuneration of the directors, which was being ploughed back into the bank operations.

On performance, Mr Sulley said the bank was showing recovery indicators, which should boost the confidence of investors and shareholders looking at the year-after-year loss performance from 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, which stood at GH¢662,070.00, GH¢724, 074.00, GH¢790,155.00 and GH¢426,637.00, which showed a significant drop.

“Meanwhile, in 2023, income increased by 139 per cent whilst expenses were controlled to about 17 per cent, with a loss reduction of 46 per cent compared to 2022 with an increase in the stated capital to about, 0.01 per cent.

The bank's performance saw marginal growth as the banking sector overall did not do well and this was a thumbs up for the bank,” he said.

He said the management was being guided to develop the appropriate strategies in 2024 to give more salary loans, and microfinance loans with a new mobilization drive expected to pursue cutting-edge technologies with its clients.

The board, he said, therefore charged the management to also recover outstanding loans to clean their books whilst a new Chief Executive Officer of the bank was tasked to provide exceptional service and redefine standards for the operations of the bank.

According to him the bank's locked-up capital of about GH¢1.8 million was disturbing and promised shareholders a decision would soon be taken about it.

Giving the risk and compliance report of the bank, Mr Rasheed Issifu Ndei, a member of the board, said in the year under review, the bank made a loss of GH¢426,000 which is an improvement over the previous year's losses of GH¢700,000.00 and expressed the hope that the new efforts being made would signal positive change.  

The bank's auditors, Riyan Consult, advised the bank to get local directors who could easily be consulted when difficult issues arise.

 Mr Alex Kwesi Awuah, the Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank said the Sissala Rural Bank would need to work toward profitability and advised management to adopt new products that would boost the situation of the bank.

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