Business News of Wednesday, 1 August 2012
Source: Joy Online
The Assistant Director of Banking Supervision at the Bank of Ghana (BOG), Raymond Amanfu, has commended the Management and staff of Ahantaman Rural Bank for their remarkable performances and successive growth over the last two decades.
The bank, which currently operates in four districts of the Western Region with a network of 13 branches, placed second amongst all 132 rural and community banks (RCBs) in the country, which were evaluated by the ARB Apex Bank’s EMU reports.
In the Western Region, it is currently positioned ahead of all the RCBs and also remains strongly in the prestigious Ghana Club 100.
Speaking at the Bank’s 24th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of shareholders at Agona-Nkwanta in the Western Region, the Board Chairman of the Bank, Kwame Awuah Asante noted that the results for the year 2011, was a huge improvement on that of the preceding year, indicating that profit before tax stood at GHc928, 646, an increase of 177.7% over that for 2010 which was GHc334, 452 million.
“The Bank’s total assets as at December 2011, was GHc 28.19 million compared to GHc17.74 million in December 2010, an increase of almost 59%, whilst total deposits for the year under review was GHc24.15 million compared to GHc17.64 million reported at the end of December 2010, showing an increase of 65.00%. During the same period, the Bank recorded an appreciable growth in loans and advances by GHc6.69 million or 85.13% from GHc7.86 million to GHc14.56 million”.
Mr. Awuah Asante also disclosed that the Bank had proposed a total dividend payment of GHc 364,236, representing GHc 0.020 per share to be paid out to shareholders. This represents an increase of 60% over the dividend for 2010.
Mr. Awuah Asante said the Bank was spending massively on education as part of its corporate social responsibility in its catchment area. Currently, 92 students from Senior High Schools and at the tertiary level are being supported.
Speaking on behalf of the Acting Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, the Takoradi Branch Manager of the ARB Apex Bank, also lauded the Ahantaman Rural Bank’ sterling performance over the years. He noted however that several developments were underway in the rural banking sector between the ARB Apex Bank and the RCBs to raise the image of the industry.
Whilst commending the bank, the Assistant Director of Banking Supervision at the Bank of Ghana, Raymond Amanfu, cautioned Rural and community Banks to stay within their mandate and not divert into the operations of universal banks else face severe sanctions.
He said RCBs must not lose their focus of providing micro facilities to SMEs within their traditional catchment areas. According to him, some RCBs were extending huge credit facilities to individuals and businesses which expose them to high risk and erode their capital base as a result of high non-performing loans.
Mr. Amanfu also asked RCBs to guard against money laundering activities considering that rural banks were more vulnerable.
Management of Ahantaman Rural Bank engaged shareholders on the banks financial report, elected new directors onto its board, and presented awards to long-serving staff.