Amenfiman Rural Bank; 40 years of remarkable financial service delivery – the story so far

BY: Graphic.com.gh
Dr Alex Asmah, CEO
Dr Alex Asmah, CEO

Amenfiman Rural Bank Limited is head quartered at Wassa Akropong in the Amenfi East municipality in the Western Region of Ghana.

The bank is the first to be established in the Western Region and the fourth in Ghana with the largest deposit portfolio in the rural banking sector of the banking industry with the widest branch network.

Amenfiman Rural Bank is currently directed by dedicated, visionary and vibrant board of directors chaired by Dr Toni Aubynn.

The day-to-day administration is in the hands of a strong and competent management team led by Dr Alexander Asmah who has exceptional leadership skills and has projected the Amerb Brand and the financial gains of the bank.

The conception of the bank started in the year 1979 when the leadership of Wassa Amenfi realised that the area could not develop without a vibrant rural bank to serve the community.

He vigorously and tirelessly toured the Wassa Amenfi communities to explain the need to have a rural bank for the community with a massive endorsement by the traditional council and its entirety.

The bank was finally incorporated under the Ghana Companies Code 1963 (Act 179) and received its certificate to commence business in May 1980 and also licensed under the Banking Act 2004(673) to engage in the business of banking in its catchment area.

The bank started with one outlet and now under prudent management and visionary leadership, it has 18 outlets located in four regions in Ghana namely; Western, Western north, Central and Ashanti.

Amenfiman Rural Bank is very progressive and has consistently demonstrated exponential growth in key financial performance indicators.

Operating income

The operating income of the bank grew significantly from GH¢ 42 million in 2019 to GH¢ 62 million in 2020 representing a growth of 48 per cent.

The net worth or shareholders’ fund was increased from GH¢30.7 million to GH¢ 38.8m- an indication of adequate capital buffer to withstand financial shocks.

The bank recorded profit before tax of GH¢11.5m as compared to GH¢4.3m in 2019 representing a growth of 167 per cent on 2020 performance year.

The bank prides itself as the best mobilisation bank with the largest deposit portfolio in the industry.

This has positioned the bank as the most trusted RCB with a total deposit portfolio of GH¢363.6 million as of December 2020 compared to GH¢254.6m in 2019 representing a growth of 42 per cent.

The size of the bank is evident by the balance sheet of GH¢474 million in 2020 which is an indication that the bank is the largest rural bank in Ghana.

Loans

It is worthy to mention that Amenfiman Rural Bank gives loans to support businesses more than any rural bank in Ghana as the loan portfolio for 2020 grew from GH¢ 93.1m to GH¢ 107.8m making it a household name in supporting farmers and micro businesses.

To assist farmers within its operational area with easy access to finance, the bank introduced farmers’ loans with flexible terms, which primarily target farming activities such as cocoa farming, rubber plantation and livestock rearing.

The bank started the farmers loan around 2015 but has steadily grown to become a solid product of the bank.

Considering the three-year analysis below; in 2018, the bank disbursed a total of GH₵ 16, 429, 700 to 5,836 farmers.

In 2019, the bank granted GH₵ 22, 734, 400 loan to 7, 824 farmers translating into 38.37 per cent growth while in 2020, it granted a total of GH₵ 32, 656, 785.62 to 10,368 farmers representing 98.77 per cent as against 2018 figure.

The bank has so far disbursed GH₵ 34,000, 000.00 to 12,800 deserving farmers in 2021.

It is worth mentioning that the farmers’ loan has had a bigger impact on farmers, especially cocoa farmers within the bank’s operational area.

How? The farmers’ loan has helped cocoa farmers to boost their yields thereby impacting positively on the volume of cocoa export in Ghana.

Furthermore, it has improved the income levels of cocoa farmers as they are able to pay their children’s school fees and also absorb financial shocks during the lean season.

This flashy product has also reduced the extent to which farmers were converting their farms into small scale mining site.

The banks support of micro businesses through its Dwadifo Nkoso product - micro group and individual loan is highly commendable.

In 2018, the bank granted GH¢ 20.1m loans to 17,413 individuals of which 93.5 per cent were women.

The same support was offered in 2019 with a total disbursed amount of GH¢ 28.9m reaching out to 18,626 micro hands with 93.4 per cent representing women and in 2020, the bank disbursed GH¢ 30.4m total loan amount to 18,760 individuals of which 94.1 per cent were women.

The banks business drive is built on four cardinal pillars namely;

1. Financial inclusion with key emphasis on savings education and rural mobilisation.

2. Support for MSMEs and agriculture.

3. Excellence customer service drive.

4. Strong operational system to ensure financial prudence at all times.

This has been the bank’s driving force leading to its success.

The board and management of Amenfiman Rural Bank strongly believe that the bank is owned by the community and hence must be committed to the development of the community.

To this end, the bank has been providing corporate social responsibility activities to enrich and improve the lives of the people in its operational area over the years.

CSR projects undertaking by the bank.

• 14 mechanised and manual boreholes—Wasa Akropong, Asankrangwa, Abesewa Gyeman and seven other communities (GH¢443,000.00)

• Provision of stores and laundry premise—Wasa Akropong Government Hospital (GH¢140, 000.00)

• Dadieso CHPS Compound Wassa Dadieso (GH¢37, 000.00)

• 14-seater toilet facility — Asankrangwa Senior High School (GH¢100, 000.00)

• Ongoing construction of Amenfi State University College —Wasa Akropong (GH¢1,200, 000.00)

• Methodist School Renovation and Adansi School Wasa Akropong (GH¢58, 000.00)

• Provided COVID-19 items Wassa Amenfi East, West, Central and Aowin Districts (GH¢65,000.00)

• Provided 200 streetlights 18 communities from Nkonya to Bawdie, all in the Wassa Amenfi East Municipality (GH¢100,000.00)

Success story

Recounting the success story of the bank, the board and management of the bank in the month of May 2021 celebrated its 40th anniversary and launched into an agenda to champion excellence in rural banking.

This agenda, even though is still an ongoing experience, has yielded fruits with the bank receiving recognition from both local and international level.

The bank has received the following awards:

1. CIMG – Chartered Institute of Marketing Award of the Year, 2020.

2. CICM – Chartered Institute of Credit Management Award of the Year, 2020

3. Financial Inclusion Award of the Year, 2020 by Financial Inclusion and Advocacy

4. The Enterprise Bank of the Year, 2020 – Glory Award by World Confederation of Businesses Award (Bizz Award).

Amenfiman Rural Bank dedicates these awards to its cherished customers, shareholders, dedicated staff and the Wassa Amenfi Traditional Council.