The Association of Rural Banks (ARB) has appealed to the government to review downwards 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 this would help strengthen the capacities of rural and community banks to live up to the development responsibilities in their operational areas.
He was speaking at the climax of the 8th National Rural Banking Week celebration at Akyawkrom in the Ejisu Municipality.
Mr Sekyere said the hikes in the corporate tax rate from eight to 25 percent since 2016, had hampered the developmental role of the banks, especially in the provision of basic social amenities as well as financial and material support to individuals and institutions.
The theme for the celebration was “The Resilience of Rural and Community Banks in a COVID -19 Pandemic Era”.
The Annual Rural Banks week celebration is aimed at sensitising the public on the products, services, and other activities of the RCBs.
It also brings into focus issues that militate the realization of the full potentials of the rural and community banking industry for attention.
Additionally, it provides the impetus for them to deliberate on issues that would enhance the performance of the rural banking industry.
Mr Sekyere said the rural banks had the responsibility to work with all stakeholders to provide formidable financial intermediation to rural and deprived communities, where the bulk of the nation’s wealth was coming from.
This would help stimulate economic initiatives and thereby promote and enhance the standards of living of the people.
Mr Alex Kwasi Awuah, Acting Managing Director for ARB APEX Bank PLC, said the COVID pandemic had emphasized the fact that the business planning environment was highly uncertain,
There was a need for robust action to improve liquidity in the banks since it was the lifeblood of their operations.
This could help them beat the threats posed by financial technology organisations.
Mr Awuah also urged RCBs to embrace the Bank of Ghana’s New Corporate Governance Directive for RCBs by putting in place effective structures and mechanisms to ensure their sustainability.
Nana Afrane Okese 1V Omanhene of Ejisu Traditional area commended RCBs for standing on their feet when many of the banks were falling and urged them to continue to help build a strong economy for the communities and the country.