Business News of 2013-12-13

Nsoatreman Rural Bank resumes scholarship scheme

Nsoatreman Rural Bank has resumed its scholarship scheme which was stalled following some challenges with the award of GH¢10,800 to four students in Senior High Schools (SHS) last year.

The beneficiaries were chosen from Jinijini, Chiraa, Yamfo and Nsoatre. This was announced by Mr Kofi Agyemang, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank at its 24th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Nsoatre in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

He said the bank’s profit before tax increased from GH¢127,593.33 at end of 2011 to GH¢206,718.50 at end of 2012, representing 62.01 per cent and amounting to GH¢79,125.17.

According to him, customers’ total deposits increased from GH¢4,882,758.52 in 2011 to GH¢6,321,720.48 in 2012, an increase of GH¢1,438,961.96 representing 29.47 per cent. Also, advances to customers increased by 28.94 per cent, from GH¢2,113,041.07 in 2011 to GH¢2,724,724.07 in 2012.

Additionally, operational expenses increased from GH¢916,210.53 in 2011 to GH¢1,309,972.40 in 2012 amounting to GH¢393,761.87 representing 42.98 per cent. Total assets of the bank increased from GH¢6,210,078.61 in 2011 to GH¢7,830,407.76 in 2012, with an increase of GH¢1,620,329.15 representing 26.09 per cent.

Mr Agyemang said the bank’s capital increased from GH¢231,503.60 in 2011 to GH¢267,112.80, amounting to GH¢35,609.20 representing 15.38 per cent. He added that the bank’s investments steadily increased from GH¢1,418,000.00 in 2011 to GH¢1,988,000.00 in 2012, an increase of GH¢570,000.00 representing 40.20 per cent.

Mr Agyemang noted that competition in the banking industry had increased, compounded with the presence of non-bank financial institutions and establishment of branches by existing banks whose financial strength posed some threats to rural banks.

However, he assured shareholders of the bank that notwithstanding the competition in the industry, the bank’s administration had remained “strategically resolute and will continue to place the customers at the centre of their products and services to retain them and attract more customers.”

Mr Kwadwo Aye Kusi, Managing Director ARB Apex Bank, in an address read on his behalf commended management of the bank for the visionary and transformational leadership, and the staff for their hard work and dedication, as well as the shareholders and customers for their commitment and patronage respectively.

He said the bank was rated ‘Fair’ based on the 2013 second-quarter report of the Efficiency and Monitoring Unit of the Apex Bank and called on management and staff to institute measures to control cost of operation.

“Notwithstanding the success of your operations, the current performance can be improved by implementing more schemes to mobilize deposits and shares, improving risk management, audit and compliance functions and stepping up staff training and motivation,” Mr Kusi added.

He advised the management to be serious with submission of prudential returns to ARB Apex Bank and Bank of Ghana for the computation of various reports, and review its micro-finance business strategy to improve the coverage and outreach of operations.

Mr Kusi advised the bank to work towards risk management, internal controls and compliance, staff training, product development and deposits, and customer service. According to him some services adopted by the ARB Apex Bank to ensure efficiency in rural banking, included mergers, new strategic plan, and arch-mobile.