Business News of 2013-12-31

Kaaseman Rural Bank makes strides

The Kaaseman Rural Bank at Sefwi Kaase in the Western Region spent over GH¢8,000 to support development activities in the bank's catchment areas in the Brong Ahafo and Western regions in 2012.

The activities were the refurbishment of the Berekum Coronation Park, scholarship packages for three brilliant, needy students in the Berekum Presbyterian Senior High School (SHS) and Jinjini SHS, as well as cash donation to the Bia SHS.

The bank also made donations to the various municipal and district assemblies in its operational areas towards the celebrations of the 2013 Farmers Day. It also supported the Kwamebikrom community to construct a bus stop.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, Mr Paul Donkor, who is also the District Chief Executive ( DCE) for Dormaa West in the Brong Ahafo Region, disclosed this at the 25th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank at Sefwi Kaase over the weekend.

He said the bank also granted loans of GH¢9,179,181.00 in 2012 to support agriculture and other business ventures as against the 2011 figure of GH¢6,897,455.00 representing an increase of 33.1 per cent.

Mr Donkor announced that the bank recorded a profit before tax of GH¢1,012,848 for the year under review as against GH¢1,001,012 in 2011, which represented an increase of 1.2 per cent.

He said the bank also increased its deposits by 8.4 per cent from GH¢14, 900,001 in 2011 to GH4¢16,147,170 last year.

Mr Donkor observed that in spite of the bank's success in deposit mobilisation, its profit did not grow as expected as a result of low rate of treasury bills, increased computerisation cost and the poor performance of the special Akuafo Cheque system.

However, the board of directors declared GH¢120,000 as dividend out of which GH¢60,000 would be paid out as cash dividend and another GH¢60,000 distributed to shareholders as bonus shares.

The total assets of the bank increased from GH¢18,059,841 in 2011 to GH¢20,016,964 in 2012, an increase of 10.8 per cent, while the investments increased from GH¢4,757,405 in 2011 to GH¢6,546,340 in 2012.

"The bank's number one challenge is the failure of loan beneficiaries to repay credits granted them on due dates. The bank's declared profits could have been higher if loans granted were promptly paid as and when they fell due. We are, therefore, appealing to our loan clients to endeavour to repay loans granted to them so that others in need can also be helped," the board chairman stated.

Mr Donkor said the bank chalked up a number of successes during the year under review and it was ranked by the ARB Apex Bank among the strong and satisfactory rural banks in the country, which continues to maintain its membership in the prestigious Ghana Club 100

The chairman of the board of directors said the bank, by the end of the first quarter of 2014, would open a new branch in Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Regional capital following the permission by the Bank of Ghana (BOG) as part of its strategy to expand further into the urban areas to take advantage of normal banking.

The General Manager of the bank, Mr Kind David Gbeblewu, who has served the bank for the past 26 years and was going on retirement, was honoured at the meeting for his dedicated service to the bank, which has ensured its steady growth as one of the formidable rural banks in the country. His position went to his deputy, Mr Dickson Ansah Owusu.