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Business News of Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Source: GNA

South Akim Rural Bank makes profit


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Nankese (E/R), June 27, GNA - The South Akim Rural Bank (SARB) made a profit of 1.021 billion cedis for 2006 despite challenges faced during the year.

The amount was slightly lower than the 1.142 billion cedis made the previous year. This was said by the out-going Board Chairman of the bank, Mr Kwasi Gyasi, at the 22nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank at Nanakese on Saturday.

He said the slight dip in profit was amply compensated with a rise in the deposits that rose by almost 30 per cent from 33.3 billion cedis in 2005 to 43.04 billion during the period under review. Mr Duke Osam-Duodu, the Deputy Managing Director of the ARB APEX Bank, said his outfit was making efforts towards full computerization of all rural and community banks in the country within the next three years to ensure their full integration into the national payment system.

He said the ARB wanted to build on the sterling performance of the rural banks in recent years with innovative products that would make them remain dominant and competitive forces towards rural development and regeneration and called on rural banks to continue to introduce new products on the market to remain competitive. Mr Osam-Duodu commended the rural and community banks for having 20 of their members listed on the Ghana's Club 100 last year owing to strong performance and urged them not to rest on their oars. He explained that, the only way rural banks can maintain the public's interest in their operations is for them to constantly introduce new products such as the zero and one day account opening balance facility that would enable residents in rural areas to open accounts without any starting capital. This, Mr Osam-Duodu believes, is critical towards cultivating a savings culture most especially in the rural areas where people still stash cash in their homes instead of saving with the banks. Mr Osam-Duodu commended the management of South Akim Rural Bank for having performed well in recent years that has earned it membership to the Club 100.

He said he expected the management of SARB to ensure that their product base is enhanced to include the granting of good advances to companies, enterprises and individuals within their environs and an increase in the micro-finance operations in order to improve the livelihood of the rural poor.

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