The Nkoranman Rural Bank has provided loans totalling GHC 574,100.00 to farmers in the Tain District of the Bono Region to strengthen and sustain government's flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme (PFJs) in 2018.
Again, the Bank channeled an amount of GHC 243,720.00 to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises and further advanced credit facilities totalling GHC 2,021,10.00 to 230 micro finance groups in the area.
Mrs Victoria Konadu, the Board Chairperson, disclosed this at the bank's 22nd Annual General Meeting, held at Seikwa.
He said GHC258,640.00 was also given out as loans to susu customers.
She said in 2018 the agricultural sector experienced a breakthrough as a result of the PFJs, and favourable weather conditions, which pushed the Bank to support the farmers as a means for the PFJs to achieve desirable results.
Mrs Konadu said with a revitalised agriculture sector under the PFJs and other government's social intervention programmes, stability in the energy sector and growth in many areas, the Ghanaian economy in 2018 experienced tremendous growth.
The macro-economic environment experienced relative stability, with the prime rate changing from 21 per cent at December, 2017 to 17 per cent as at December 2018.
Inflation declined in the same period from 12.20 per cent in December 2017 to 9 per cent in December 2018, whilst "the two-year and one-year notes remained at 16 per cent and 15 per cent respectively as at December 2017 to December 2018".
Mrs Konadu said the 91-day and 182-day bills had slight changes as at December 2017 from 13.20 per cent and 14.1 per cent to 13.40 per cent and 14.20 per cent respectively as at December 2018.
The cedi, however, depreciated significantly against all the major foreign currencies during the same period at depreciation rates of 5.60 per cent, 4.10 per cent and 4.90 per cent against the USD, GBP and Euro respectively at the close of the fourth quarter, 2018, she added.
Mrs Konadu said Bank of Ghana's comprehensive action plan to clean up banks and specialised deposit taking institutions to strengthen the banking sector in the country has brought some fear in the banking public and adversely affected the Rural and Community Bank's deposit base.
"Notwithstanding the above indicators that point downwards in the right direction, banking operation, especially profitability was affected as a result of the fact that Treasury bill rates and lending rates continued to decline".
"It is also envisaged that banking operations generally, will be affected in the 2019 financial year if the regulators don't boost customer confidence in the banking sector", she said.
Mrs Konadu commended shareholders and customers for their loyalty to the Bank and assured them of continuous excellent banking services in ensuing years.
She said though the Bank has exceeded the BOG's required minimum capital investment of GHC 1,000,000.00, there is the need for shareholders to buy more shares and urged customers to endeavour to pay their loans at stipulated periods.
Mrs Charity Oforiwaa Dwomoh, the Tain District Chief Executive, urged the people in the area to transact business with the Bank and entreated farmers to adopt the habit of saving to give them financial stability.
She said the future of the bank was brighter and called on Management to be innovative and improve on their services.
Mr Ali Maamah, the General Manager of the Bank, said as a result of its impressive performance, the bank has become attractive to individuals and businesses in its operational area.
He said the bank would continue in its efforts to roll out excellent banking packages and advised customers to buy more shares.