Within the RCB fraternity, one of the most celebrated Rural Banks is the Amenfiman Rural Bank. It is one of the largest Rural and Community Banks with its headquarters at Wassa Akropong in the Amenfi East Municipality in the Western Region of Ghana.
Amenfiman Rural Bank was the first to be established in the Western region and the fourth in Ghana in the year 1980. It was established to provide essential banking services to rural and peri-urban communities.
The Bank was incorporated under the Ghana Companies Code 1963 (Act 179) and received its certificate to start its business in May 1980. In September that same year, it received its license under the Banking Act 2004 (Act 673). The Bank started with a single branch and currently has 18 branches located in four regions of the country namely: Western, Western North, Central, and Ashanti. It also has 4 mobilization centers due to its reliable banking services and the provision of financial support to the people. The Bank over the years has been the farmers’ friend and has now become a house name extending credit facilities to individuals and farmer groups.
In 1979, the Bank of Ghana undertook a currency redenomination exercise which eventually resulted in the confiscation of monies held outside the banking system more than a threshold of 5000 cedis. The old cedi notes were discounted at 30% in the then cedi during the exercise. This did not affect monies already banked. Nonetheless, individuals who held cash outside of the banking system were given a maximum of 5000 cedis of the new currency resulting in excessive losses.
This situation brought about untold hardships to the citizenry. It was particularly difficult for the people of Wassa Amenfi to get access to a bank to exchange their old currency for the limited amount of the new cedi. Apart from neighboring Samreboi which had a commercial bank in the entire Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area. The nearest location with a banking facility was Tarkwa in Fiase. This increased the demand for a Bank in the Wassa Amenfi area.
The Chief Executive Officer
The CEO, Mr. Alexander Asmah hails from the Western Region and Wassa Akropong to be precise. He had his Secondary Education at Asankragwa Senior High School and continued to the University of Cape Coast to read BSc (Commerce). After his first degree, he did his National Service at St. John’s Senior High School in Sekondi, where he taught Financial Accounting and Cost Accounting, then he started his first job at Amenfiman Rural Bank as a Management Trainee and rose through the ranks to become the Head of Banking Operations.
He left to Barclays Bank. Later on, in 2011, he got an opening at Amenfiman Rural Bank as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at age 34. But in the course of working, he pursued an MBA in Banking and Finance from the Paris School of Management. He also pursued a Doctor of Business Administration, DBA (Leadership & Global Business) from California Intercontinental University in the USA. He is married to Gloria with four children, two boys, and two girls. Namely: Nana Ama, Tony, Erica, and Papa Asmah.
The vision of the leadership
The Bank is currently directed by a dedicated, visionary, and vibrant Board of Directors chaired by Dr. Toni Aubynn. With Dr. Alexander Asmah as the head, the Management team demonstrated exceptional leadership in sustaining the gains of the Bank over the years.
40th Anniversary Celebration
The Amenfiman Rural Bank turned 40 years in May 2020, but unfortunately, the celebration could hold last year due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The events were then shifted to this year and had their official launch on May 15, 2021, and climax on May 29, and 30 2021. Some of the activities were:
- 40th Anniversary launch, clean-up, donation, and staff fun game,
- A clean-up exercise at the Wasa Akropong Government Hospital, which was climaxed with a donation of vital health consumables and items amounting to GH¢20,000, and
- Staff fun games, which created a platform for staff to socialize, deepen team bonding, and arouse friendship.
A float was also organized from Bogoso to Japa Dadieso, a total distance of 40 kilometers from Wasa Akropong, to enhance and increase publicity. This also brought more excitement to the Anniversary celebrations.
A public lecture was also organized at Longji International Hotel at Tarkwa on the theme: “Championing Excellence in Rural Banking.” Two renowned individuals who are key players in the industry in the persons of Dr. Toni Aubynn, Board Chair of ARB Apex Bank and Amenfiman Rural Bank, and Mr. Kojo Mattah, Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, were the main speakers.
Another major event was “a business forum that brought together all the Bank’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) customers. This took place at the Royal Lamerta Hotel, Kumasi. The forum offered the Bank and its esteemed customers the opportunity to interact, this helped deepen the relationship.
The Bank took the opportunity to invite a Business Development Consultant-Consumer Bureau to speak on the subject “Business Dynamics, Post Covid, and Expectation of the Bank.”
Another aspect of the celebrations was the Traditional and Institutional Forum, which took place at the Conference Hall of the Omanhene’s (Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II) Palace on May 25, 2021. The forum brought together the entire Amenfi Traditional Council, religious leaders, and heads of institutions, onto a common platform to discuss the progress of the Bank and areas that required improvement. There was unanimity that “the success of the Bank is highly influenced by the acceptance of the community and the extent of ownership the entire Wassa Amenfi State has placed on its operations.”
Inter Community Football Gala
As part of the Bank’s commitment to the development of talents in sports and also creating unity among the communities it serves, a community gala was organized for 12 football clubs from May 21 to 23, 2021.
This brought joy and a sense of togetherness among community members. The Gala was played among Amenfiman, Fiaseman, Upper Amenfi, and Ahantaman Rural Banks. In a host-and-win strategy, Amenfiman and Upper Amenfi Rural Bank played in the finals and Amenfiman Rural Bank carried the day.
This brought lots of joy among the staff and community members. Participating banks were also excited to have been part of the 40th anniversary. The bank signed a sponsorship package of GH¢100,000.00 to help ensure that FC Samartex 1996 qualifies to play in the Ghana Premier League. This was a contract package the Amenfiman Bank offered to FC Samartex 1996 (a subsidiary of Samartex Timber Company Limited). The sponsorship package was a kind gesture from the Bank.
Inter-schools’ quiz competition
The Bank organized an inter-school quiz competition as part of the celebrations. The quiz competition was conducted among the second-cycle institutions within the areas of Western, Western North, and Central Region.
This activity was classified as the main objective of affirming the bank’s commitment to the communities in which they operate by giving back to them through education, which is an all-important pillar of Dr. Toni Aubynn, Board Chairman.
Additionally, to encourage the future leaders of the community to inculcate the spirit of patriotism, hard work, and dedication with vision and innovation. These timeless values are what have cushioned Amenfiman Rural Bank and all of its employees even in the toughest of times.
Thirdly, to provide a common platform for the participating schools to elucidate their understanding of Rural Banking and how it can be instrumental in developing our community’s precious human resource.
In all, the expectation was for participants to be informed, inspired, and impacted to appreciate the value of hard work and its resultant profits by following through the series of questions that the technical handlers of the quiz had put together.
Annual General Meeting and Grand Durbar – 40th Anniversary
The celebrations were climaxed on May 29, 2021, with a grand durbar and the 37th Annual General Meeting (AGM), at the forecourt of the Omanhene’s Palace. The joint ceremony was very colourful with the right display of colourful traditional regalia. Some past Directors and key personalities who have been very instrumental in the development of the Bank were also recognized and rewarded.
The Shareholders, Board, Management, Staff, and customers of the Bank, and members of the community came together to give praise and thanks to God for bringing the Bank thus far.
Corporate Social Responsibilities
The Board and Management of Amenfiman Rural Bank knowing the Bank is owned and belongs to the community decided to channel their commitment to developing the communities they operate in. The Bank has deeply contributed towards the development of the community through its corporate social responsibilities, which are:
- Donation of 50 pieces of classroom furniture to Abesewa Gyaman Catholic School, valued at GH¢7,500
- Donation of a toilet facility to the Asankragwa Senior High School, valued at GH¢100,000,
- Provision of a CHPS Compound at Wasa Dadieso, valued at GH¢37,000
The latest CSR projects include:
- Donation of COVID-19 kits and relief items to Clinics at Wasa Amenfi East, Wasa Amenfi West, Wasa Central, and Aowin Suaman Municipal Assemblies, valued at GH¢65,000,
- Renovation of Methodist and Adansi Schools at Wasa Akropong, valued at GH¢58,000,
- Donation of a corn milling machine to the Hiawa Prisons, valued at GH¢5,000,
- Donation of 1,000 pieces of streetlights to various communities, valued at GH¢100,000,
- Donation of 14 mechanized and manual boreholes to various communities, valued at GH¢443,000.
- Provision of stores and laundry areas for the Wasa Akropong Government Hospital, valued at GHS140,000, and
- An ongoing construction of the Amenfi State University, which has so far received GH¢758,000
Presently, the bank is the biggest rural bank in the country and it is ranked the No. 1 and the leading rural bank among the 144 Rural and Community Banks in Ghana. Its staff strength has been moved from 69 employees to 480 highly skilled and motivated employees who have bridled with the vision of the bank all thanks to the current leadership.
Long live Amenfiman Rural Bank
Long live the Wassa Amenfi State
Long live Ghana.
Amenfiman Rural Bank… Your success our Pride