Choose A Rural Bank
From very humble beginnings in 1976, when the first Rural and Community Bank (RCB) was established at Agona Nyakrom in the Central Region, the network of RCBs keeps expanding.
In 2018 alone, Akumadan Rural Bank and Asokore Mampong Rural Bank, both in the Ashanti Region, joined the ever growing network of banks, bringing the total number of RCBs in the country to 144.
One Ghanaian business model, which has stood the test of time over the years, is Rural and Community Banking. In the over four decades of their existence and serving the rural communities of the country, RCBs have had their fair share of challenges. Some of them were particularly hit hard by the 2017/2018 banking crisis.
Other RCBs have also been racing against time to meet the Regulator's new minimum capital requirement of GHC1.0 million. Some of the banks have deployed various strategies, including mergers, while others have bought shares into financially less endowed RCBs, to help all the banks remain strong and take advantage of the many economic opportunities being created in the country.
It is imperative to note that the whole essence of Rural and Community Banking was built on the principle of community ownership, where the Shareholders, Directors, and Staff are from the communities in which the unit banks are founded and operated. Sometimes, even members of the management team are carefully selected based on their rich local and community knowledge and experience.
Because the banks are owned by members of the community, the communal spirit serves as a strong check on the Directors, Management and Staff, which ensures that they work in the best interests of the community shareholders.
Customers of the banks are also largely based in the communities and the banks provide a veritable financial oxygen to the micro-small-and medium enterprises, which keeps the communities economically active and buoyant.
Again, Ghanaians are very attached to their heritage. That is why many Ghanaian parents would give birth to kids in America, Europe or any other foreign country; but would make sure the kids speak their native Ghanaian dialect.
In the same vein, because of the centralized nature of the governance processes in Ghana, many people move from their villages and rural hometowns to the city centres in search of education, jobs and the good life.
People go to school in the city centres, get employed, buy homes and settle there. Many of these people however make sure that they build holiday or retirement homes in their hometowns.
Whether on holiday or on pension, the RCBs are there to serve you, because they are located in all the rural areas of the country.
Furthermore, the RCBs have begun deploying modern and value added technology tools such as automated teller machines (ATMs), Mobile Money Transfers, and Mobile Banking, to give customers real convenience and comfort. With assistance from the ARB Apex Bank, the RCBs would soon deploy Agency Banking across the country, with the pilot phase alone expected to rope in more than 1,000 agents.
This means the RCB customer would be spoilt for choice, as many medium sized shops, supermarkets and businesses in the rural areas could become RCB Agency ‘Bank’.
With a security enhanced debit card from an RCB, a customer can therefore withdraw cash from an ATM, pay for purchases at the supermarkets, transfer cash, receive money transfers, and even make cash withdrawals from merchants.
The Agency Banking initiative by the ARB Apex Bank and the RCBs is expected to further open up the rural economy of the country, with the creation of jobs for many people.
Whether you live and work in the cities or not, you would one day be in the rural areas, where you are not likely to have access to the services of the commercial banks.
There are 144 RCBs, with over 700 branches spread throughout all the districts in the country.
Choose one today!