The Association of Rural Banks (ARB) has called on the government to lower the corporate tax rate of Rural and Community Banks (RCBs).
Mr Kwame Owusu Sekyere, acting national president of the association, who made the appeal, said it would help strengthen the capacity of rural and municipal banks to address development responsibilities in their areas of operation.
He spoke at the height of the 8th National Rural Banking Week in Akyawkrom, Ejisu Township.
Sekyere said the increase in the corporate tax rate from eight to 25 percent since 2016 has hampered banks’ developmental role, particularly in providing basic social amenities as well as financial and material assistance to individuals and institutions.
The theme of the celebration was “The Resilience of Rural and Municipal Banks in a COVID-19 Pandemic Era”.
The annual Rural Banks Week celebration is designed to raise public awareness of the RCBs’ products, services and other activities.
It also brings to the fore issues that make realizing the full potential of the rural and municipal banking sectors difficult for attention.
It also gives them an impetus to discuss issues that would improve the performance of the rural banking sector.
Mr Sekyere said the rural banks have a responsibility to work with all stakeholders to provide impressive financial intermediation to the rural and disadvantaged communities where most of the national wealth comes from.
This would help stimulate economic initiatives and thereby promote and improve people’s standard of living.
Mr Alex Kwasi Awuah, acting managing director of ARB APEX Bank PLC, said the COVID pandemic had emphasized the fact that the environment for business planning was highly uncertain.
In order to improve the liquidity of the banks, robust measures are required, as it is the lifeblood of their businesses.
This could help them overcome the threats posed by financial technology companies.
Mr Awuah also urged the RCBs to adopt the Bank of Ghana’s new corporate governance policy for RCBs by putting in place effective structures and mechanisms to ensure their sustainability.
Nana Afrane Okese 1V Omanhene of the Ejisu Traditional region commended RCBs for standing on their feet when many of the banks fell and urged them to continue helping build a strong economy for the communities and the country.