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Business News of Friday, 16 August 2019

Source: Michael Oberteye

Anum Rural Bank holds 36th Annual General Meeting

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Anum Rural Bank, Mr. Daniel Adu Appea has said that the total assets of the bank rose significantly from GH¢ 26.93 million in 2017 to GH¢ 31.35 million in 2018, a growth of 16.41%.

Mr. Appea was speaking during the 36th Annual General Meeting of shareholders of the Anum Rural Bank at the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in the Asuogyaman District of The Eastern Region on Saturday, August 10, 2019.

He said deposits also increased by 17.56%, rising from GH¢ 19.31 million to GH¢ 22.49 million in 2018 in the same period.

The Board Chairman said that a loan of GH¢ 200,000 for the construction of the Atimpoku Agency building to serve its numerous customers, had been contracted from the ARB Apex Bank.

The bank’s total operating income, according to the Board Chairman, also rose from GH¢ 6,879,717 in 2017 to GH¢ 7,852,010 in 2018 with operating expenses of GH¢ 6,655,771 in 2018 compared to GH¢ 5,999,520 in 2017 which represented a 10.94% increase.

The Anum Rural Bank also spent a total of GH¢ 36,098 on community engagements in 2018.

As part of the bank’s quest to carry banking services to the doorsteps of both existing and prospective customers, the chairman announced the opening of a new agency at Asutuare in the Shai Osudoku district of the Greater Accra Region, aimed at increasing the banks customer base and deposit mobilization.

This, he observed brings the banks total agencies to eight.

Managing Director of the ARP Apex Bank, Mr. Kojo Mattah in an address read on his behalf by Mr. Mark Odoi Adjei while commending the bank on the gains chalked over the year urged the bank to concentrate its efforts on the medium to small scale businesses since that is where it derives its strength.

Mr. Adjei however pleaded with the banks to desist from investing in high risk instruments since those ‘too good to be true investments’ often have a high potential of locking up all their assets in non-recoverable investment portfolios.

Mr. Adjei also disclosed that plans were far advanced for the launch of the much awaited ARB Apex Bank-RCB’s Agency Banking following the securing of a US$ 80m grant from the World Bank.

He added that the project when launched is expected to position member banks to take a substantial stake in the country’s electronic cash and cash-lite society evolution, adding that the agency banking module would rope in more than 1000 agents (agency banks) across the country and comes with a lot of benefits.

The advent of cyber fraud in the financial services sector, Mr. Adjei explained has compelled the bank to deploy a Security Incident and Events Management System (SIEM) to monitor all activities on the network.

The project is expected to be completed with the full deployment of a security operations center which would be connected with the national SOC at the bank of Ghana, which among others are expected to make the RCBs fully complaint with the BoG’s cyber and information security directives.

In line with the new vision of the ARB Apex Bank which states: “to remain the most effective and efficient service provider to the RCBs,” the bank shall endeavour to improve service delivery and commitment to the RCBs so that its member banks can render value added services to their customers, Mr. Adjei disclosed, adding that the bank was continuing the deployment of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) at RCBs across the country with the distribution of about 70 ATMs and the number expected to grow to 100 by the end of 2019.

Nkrobeahene of the Anum Traditional Area, Nana Affum Kafuna expressed his displeasure at the low turnout of the meeting and urged shareholders to partake in the bank’s meetings and not only avail themselves for elections since the bank owes it a duty to account to them.

He also admonished shareholders not to disparage the bank but rather have confidence in and encourage it to grow, adding that shareholders should feel free to approach the management of the bank with any issues bothering them since the bank and its shareholders are one family.

On his part, president of the eastern regional chapter of the Association of Rural and Community Banks commended the Anum Rural Bank for its relative success in the various fields including short term investments, advancement in its loans, increase in its total assets, meeting the bank of Ghana’s minimum capital requirement and increasing its profit after tax among others.

Mr. Seth Adom-Asomaning encouraged shareholders, depositors and customers of the bank to remain confident in the sustained operations of the bank, increase their deposits and buy more shares to sustain and make the operations of the bank more vibrant to bring in the desired profits and payment of higher dividends.

He also called for training of directors of the various banks to keep them abreast with their job and a succession plan put in place to encourage young knowledgeable and enterprising members of its shareholders to gear themselves up to take the mantle.

Mr. Adom-Asomaning further called on banks to put issues of cybersecurity at the forefront of their discussions to safeguard its collective interest.

Meanwhile, Christian Amu Frimpong was announced by the local electoral commission as the sole candidate and eventually elected unopposed to represent the Peki branch of the bank as a board member.

As part of activities on the day, a resolution was passed to reduce the board membership of the bank from 8 to 7 in compliance with a directive by the BoG.

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