BESSFA was set up in 1983 and licensed to operate the business of banking by the Bank of Ghana (Ghana's Central Bank) under Act 339 of 1970. It started with an initial capital of GHs37.50 made up of GHs12.50 BOG preference shares and GHs25.00 ordinary shares. This law was aimed at creating banks to serve populations which would otherwise be cut off from financial services. The law allowed them to operate within a radius of about 20 miles. Currently, BESSFA now has 1,708 shareholders and GHs527,015 total shareholders' funds (including stated capital of GHs150,286.00) according to the 2008 financial reports.
Rural banking encompasses the provision of financial services and the management of small amounts of money through a range of products and a system of intermediary function.