The Board of Directors of Nsoatreman Rural Bank in Brong Ahafo has appealed to shareholders to acquire more shares to sustain the bank.
In a report read by its chairman, Nana Kusi-Appiah, at the 21st annual general meeting of the bank at Nsoatre, the Board said this would "save us from always falling on our reserves to meet Bank of Ghana requirement".
He stressed that rural banks were currently required by the Central Bank to maintain a minimum share capital of GHC150, 000.00 and this was an onerous task for the bank and other tottering ones.
The board said it was likely that the stated capital requirement would go up in the next few years and with the anticipated stiffer competition from the orthodox banks, rural banks would have no option than to go into mergers or acquisitions.
It said as part of its social responsibility, the bank during the year under review supported a number of community educational projects including the donation of 100 bags of cement to the Sacred Heart Senior High School at Nsoatre.
"In the coming years we also plan to revive the educational sponsorship facility from which a lot of shareholders' wards have benefited over the past years," the board said, adding that most of these student beneficiaries had graduated from the universities.
In a fraternal message read for him, Mr Eric Osei-Bonsu, Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank urged rural banks to establish internal audit units to help check any malfeasance in operations.
He emphasized that competition in the banking industry was becoming keener and rural banks needed to redouble efforts to avoid losing their customers to orthodox banks, adding ARB Apex Bank was ready to assist in the training of staff to retain customers.
The Managing Director urged loan beneficiaries to endeavour to pay back so that others too could benefit.
Mr Kwame Adjei Acheampong of the Association of Rural Banks commended the board, management and staff of the bank for their dedicated services and commitment to the realization of the bank's corporate goals.
He expressed the hope that they would maintain the spirit to help the bank perform creditably "in these challenging times".