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Punish LBCs paying cocoa farmers with cash   
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The Atwima-Mponua Rural Bank has raised concern about the practice of paying cocoa farmers with cash by some Licensed Cocoa Buying Companies (LBCs') instead of the Akuafo Cheque System.

Mr Kwaku Addai, the Board Chairman, said this is totally unacceptable and offenders must be punished by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD).

Addressing the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the bank at Toase, he advised farmers to insist that they are paid with cheque for cocoa sold, saying this was in their own interest and security.

The occasion was used to highlight the bank's continued strong performance over the past 25 years.

Its net profit for instance rose to GH107,107.51 in 2008 from the previous year's figure of GH81,395.48.

Credit support to grow businesses and the economies of communities where it has been operating jumped from GH2,100,000.00 to GH3,400.000.00 during the same period.

"Sustainability through improved customer care and increase investment" was the theme for the jubilee celebration.

Mr Addai attributed the significant strides they are making to prudent investment decisions, good financial management and integrity of both the leadership and employees.

He re-affirmed the Board's determination to always ensure that the activities of the bank were consistent with best practices to protect shareholders capital and customers deposits.

Brilliant but needy students are aided to pursue academic careers in addition to regular assistance toward farmers' and teachers' day celebration, school's sporting competitions and community development projects.

Mr Dapaah Siakwan, President of Association of Rural Banks, urged the management and staff to place higher premium on customer care, saying, it is the way to survive the intense competition in the banking industry.

He said to sustain growth they needed to continue to be guided by good corporate governance, proper record keeping, internal control and extensive credit risk analysis.

Mr George Annor of ARB Apex Bank, Kumasi Branch, appealed to all rural banks to establish as part of their management structure, Internal Audit Unit to prevent crime and fraud.
Source: GNA

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