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Regional News of Friday, 4 August 2006

Source: GNA

Rural Banks urged to be innovative to increase their income

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Amuana-Praso(E/R), Aug. 04, GNA - Mr Kwadwo Aryeh Kusi, Head of Finance of ARB Apex Bank, has called on managements of Rural Banks to be innovative to increase their income to ensure sustainability of the banks' role in the country's micro-economic sector.

He said foreign rates of Government's Treasury Bills and interest rates had made it imperative for rural banks to diversify their operations to increase profit margins to pay adequate dividends to shareholders.

Mr Kusi made the call when addressing the 13th annual general meeting of Mponua

He urged managements of rural banks to strengthen their credit administrative Rural Bank at Amuana-Praso in the Birim North District. functions, improve internal controls and agency management and asked shareholders to increase their shares to enhance performances of the banks.

Mr Kusi said all rural banks in the country would be computerized to enable their customers enjoy efficient services and urged Boards of Directors and Managements of the banks to commit adequate resources towards the project to ensure its success.

Mr Daniel Kwame Ansong, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, said the bank made a net profit before tax of 357.2 million cedis last year, as against 569.2 million cedis in 2004, a "reflection of challenging problems facing the bank".

He said its total income increased from 2.6 billion cedis in 2004 to 3.2 billion cedis last year, an increase of 19 per cent. Mr Ansong said total assets of the bank stood at about 21 billion cedis as at the end of last year, while its investment declined from 6.2 billion cedis in 2004 to about four billion cedis last year, but the banks' capital increased from 260 million cedis in 2004 to about 275 million cedis last year.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors said the bank's deposits increased from 13.6 billion cedis in 2004 to 14.5 billion cedis last year, most of them mobilized through its mobile banking operations. He said the bank granted six billion cedis as loans and over drafts to its customers in agriculture, cottage industries, transport, trading and workers.

Mr Emmanuel Acquah Frimpong, Birim North District Chief Executive, in an address read on his behalf, said the priority of Government's economic policy was to restore stability and growth to sustain "Golden age of Business" in the country.

He said huge sums of money had therefore, been channeled through the rural banks for their customers to finance projects and economic ventures towards reduction of poverty in rural areas.

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