By Bernice Bessey .
The management of Yaa Ansantewaa Rural Bank has vehemently rejected claims that one of its branches provides banking services from a metal container at Bantama Race Course in Kumasi.
According to the management, reports suggested that the rural bank had flouted the Bank of Ghana (BoG) regulations guiding the sector for operating their new branch in a container at Bantama Race Course.
The rural bank was specifically accused by a pressure group for flouting Section 16 and 25 of the Act 930 of Banks and Specialised Deposit-taking Institutions (Act, 2016) and other banking and financial regulations.
However, the General Manager of Yaa Ansantewaa Rural Bank, Mr Michael Kwabena Afriyie, in an interview with The Chronicle on the issue, stated that the allegation cannot be substantiated.
He explained that what the group are claiming was not the case, as the said container is not a branch of the bank, but rather a temporary structure that has been authorised by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to only register traders.
Mr Afriye added that the KMA authorised them to register petty traders meant for the new Kejetia market, stressing: “Race Course is very close to Kejetia, so it is just a registration centre that we have created. It is not a branch, and in our list of branches, the place is not classified as a branch.”
He indicated that the bank was previously registering the traders under tents and umbrellas, but due to the harsh weather conditions, they decided to opt for the container, which is well ventilated.
“I will forward to you our existing letterhead. We don’t have Race Course as our list of branches, so it cannot be a branch. Unfortunately, we don’t know this group, they have not approached us, and I’m not sure they have come over to see what and what goes on at that centre. I learnt that Multi Credit has been directed to do [a] similar registration of petty traders. I don’t know this group, and nobody has contacted us for such a thing.”
He reiterated that it is a registration centre for the United Petty Traders Association, Kejetia Petty Trader Association, and other traders unions at the market.
The financial sector, in recent times, had been very rough, with depositors losing their lifetime savings and investments, as well as the banks and financial companies folding up, due to customers’ anxiety and mismanagement on the part of the institutions.
Citizens, as a result, are more becoming worried and suspicious of financial institutions suspected to be malefactors, or are not strictly adhering to laws governing the sector, in order to save it from further nosedives.
The pressure group, Concern Voters Movement (CVM), in ensuring that depositors’ funds are protected, has nudged the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to on check the operations of Multi Credit Savings and Loans and the YaaAsantewaa Rural Bank, both at Bantama Race Course in Kumasi.
According to the group, which was calling for a possible shutdown with these financial institutions’ branches, the institutions have awfully flouted the BoG’s regulations for operating from a container at Bantama Race Course.
Nevertheless, the General Manager of the Rural Bank has urged the public to treat the allegation with contempt.