RURAL & COMMUNITY BANKS
There are over hundred and thirty-five rural banks in the ten regions of Ghana. The importance of Rural/Community Banks as providers of financial services to ensure growth in a predominantly agro-based economy cannot, therefore be over-emphasised.
The banks undertake a mix of micro finance and commercial banking activities structured to satisfy the need of the rural areas.
They provide banking services by way of funds mobilization and credit to cottage industry operators, farmers, fishermen and regular salaried employees. They also grant credits to customers for the payment of school fees, acquisition/rehabilitation of houses and to meet medical expenses.
Some of the banks have subsidiary companies engaged in consumer credit and other developmental activities. Rural/Community Banks devote part of their profits to meet social developmental activities such as donations to support education, health, traditional administration and the needy in their respective communities. Some of the banks have specific gender programmes focusing on women-in-development and credit-with-education activities for rural women.
Rural/Community Banks are, therefore, the main vehicle for financial intermediation, capital formation and retention of rural dwellers in the rural areas.