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Business News of Sunday, 5 November 2006

Source: GNA

Apex Bank designs new product for Rural and Community Banks

Nandom (UW), Nov. 05, GNA - The ARB Apex Bank Limited has entered into agreements with the Suri Change and Placid Express remittances companies of the Netherlands to enable Ghanaians living abroad to remit their funds through ARB Apex Bank.

This would enable rural and community banks to render prompt payment to beneficiaries.

This product is one of many that are being designed to curtail the over-reliance of rural banks on certain traditional sources of income such as investments in Treasury Bills whose rate of returns have been falling of late as a result of the government's prudent economic policies.

Mr. Emmanuel Yaw Sarpong, Head of Banking Operations Department of ARB Apex Bank Limited said this at the 24th General Meeting of the Shareholders of the Nandom Rural Bank at Nandom in the Upper West Region on Saturday.

He said the ARB Apex Bank had since the middle of this year been collaborating with the Standard Chartered Bank Limited as sub-agents for Western Union Money Transfer.

Mr Sarpong commended the Nandom Rural Bank for dominating in profit before tax, net worth and investments in the region and also placed second in the area of total assets, deposits, Advances and paid up capital.

The bank also had adequate capital by showing an excess ratio of 78.44 per cent as at December 2005, he noted.

The ARB Apex Bank, he said had observed that the share register of most Rural and Community Banks were not properly and professionally managed and it had therefore engaged Merchant Bank Ghana Limited as Consultants to clean up and update share registers of all such banks. Mr Jacob Yirerong, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nandom rural Bank said his bank made a net profit of 468.72 million cedis in 2005 as against 478.46 million cedis in 2004, showing a decrease of two per cent.

He attributed this dip in profit to a fall in the Treasury Bill rate to as low as 11.77 per cent and poor agricultural harvest during the period that resulted in a rise in the prices of goods and services. He said total deposits, however went up by 26.4 per cent from 7.024 billion cedis in 2004 to 8.364 billion cedis in 2005. Last year, the Bank gave out 2.142 billion cedis as loans, Mr Yirerong said.