By Alex Boye
The management of Yaa Asantewaa Rural Bank has vehemently denied reports that it has opened a branch in a metal container at the Race Course Market in Kumasi in violation of the regulations of the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
According to management of the bank, the said container at the Race Course Market only serves as a registration and collection point for scores of traders in the area but not as reported earlier.
The management also explained that the rural bank opened the registration and collection point to help the traders to make daily contributions to acquire stores at the Kejetia Central Market.
According to the bank, hundreds of petty traders in Kumasi do not have the financial muscle to acquire shops at the newly constructed Kejetia Central Market, adding that they contacted the bank for support.
“The Yaa Asantewaa Bank’s management would like to put on record that the bank has not breached any BoG laws as falsely reported in the media and therefore the public should treat the said reports with the greatest contempt,” the management said through a statement.
Last week, some media organizations claimed the rural bank had breached BoG regulations by opening a branch in a metal container at the Race Course Market which is one of the vibrant markets in Kumasi.
But checks by this reporter proved otherwise, as most traders told the paper that they have special arrangement with Yaa Asantewaa Rural Bank at Race Course to help them get shops at Kejetia.
The petty traders said they personally approached Yaa Asantewaa Rural Bank to open a registration and collection point at Race Course to help them make daily savings which the bank will later top up to acquire stores at Kejetia.
The traders, mostly women, said they were surprised about attempts by some faceless people to stop the rural bank from empowering them economically.
When contacted, Michael Kwabena Afriyie, General Manager of Yaa Asantewaa Rural Bank, said his outfit has not ‘erred’ in anyway.
“It is not our branch and so we don’t keep any money there. After payments are made by the traders, a waiting vehicle of the bank takes the money to our headquarters” he indicated.
He expressed surprise at the false media reports to dent the bank’s positive image and also create unnecessary tension.
“We started the daily collections under umbrella but because of unfriendly weather challenges and the safety of the traders, we decided to build a metal container at Race Course which is only serving as registration and collection point for the traders.
“We have even agreed to top up the money that the traders raise through their daily contributions so that they can also get stores at Kejetia. This is a special arrangement we have made, and it’s similar to the collection of school fees by banks in schools,” Mr. Afriyie said.
Mr. Afriyie said Yaa Asantewaa Rural Bank is a law-abiding financial institution that would never indulge in any activity that would violate BoG’s regulations, saying “we shall continue to serve our customers better regardless of the false reports.”
He explained that the registration and collection point at Race Course would help prevent situations where the traders would be robbed of their monies or encounter difficulties in travelling to Yaa Asantewaa Rural Bank offices to make their daily ‘Susu’ payments.
Mr. Afriyie stated that the bank is determined to make life easy for their customers, adding that “as a rural bank, we shall continue to improve the lives of our customers in support of government’s policy.”