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East Akim Rural Bank overturns losses

BY: Haruna Yussif Wunpini, OSIEM
Jonas Amponsa Asamoah, Board Member of the East Akim Rural Bank, addressing shareholders

The East Akim Rural Bank at Osiem in the Abuakwa North Municipality in the Eastern Region has posted a profit before tax of GH¢331,325.00 for the year 2021.

That was against a loss of GH¢152,560.00 registered the previous year.

The achievement represents a remarkable improvement since the bank’s inception four years ago.

This was made known in a speech read on behalf of the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Emmanuel Edusei, at the 4th Annual General Meeting of the East Akim Rural Bank on August 10, 2022.

Financial

He said total assets of the bank rose from GH¢7,294,218.00 to GH¢11,024,396.00, representing a percentage increase of 51.14 per cent within the same period while total deposits also rose from GH¢6,272,664.00 to GH¢8,360,105.00, an increase of 33.28 per cent.

According to him, the significant performance of the bank also led to a 123.63 per cent increase in the loans and advances portfolio from GH¢3,101,707.00 to GH¢6,936,346.00, a 123.63 per cent.

Loan expansion

Mr Edusei said in fulfilment of the bank's core mandate, it embarked on a loan expansion drive by expanding the outreach of the Micro-Finance Loans (the Ntoboa Loan) to market women and the Agric Loan to cocoa and vegetable farmers in the its operational areas and beyond.

He explained that the loan expansion drive gave more women and cocoa farmers access to the loan product which had helped to improve their businesses and consequently their living conditions.

With regard to the bank's social responsibilities, the Board Chairman stated that since the bank was located in a community where agriculture was the main occupation of the people, it sponsored the Best Vegetable Farmer Award in the 37th Farmers Day in the municipality held on Friday, December 1, 2021.

Mr Edusei said to further improve the services of the bank, it would be installing an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), digitise its operations to rope in as many customers and non-customers on the Ghana Pay Platform where customers could deposit and withdraw money.

Ghana Card

With the introduction of the Ghana Card as the only card a customer could transact business with, he said the bank hoped to strengthen the monitoring of loans and improve its recovery.

That, Mr Edusei emphasised, would help minimise fraud and multiple borrowings.

A new product, Church and Educational Development Loan (Sika Dwatire) Susu Loan, the Board Chairman stressed, would be made available to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to further enhance their businesses.

The President of the Eastern Regional Chapter of the Association of Rural Banks, Benjamin Apo, urged the shareholders to continue to have confidence in the ability of the board and management to further improve the fortunes of the bank.

He also advised shareholders to increase their shareholdings with the bank and be assured of long-term benefits for their investments.

Inject more capital

Mr Apo lauded the bank for its tremendous performance and appealed to its customers to inject more capital in the bank for more profit.

He called on the Board of Directors to be committed to ensuring good corporate governance in line with the Bank of Ghana and remain profitable and strong to meet the expectations of all its stakeholders.

The Eastern Regional Manager of ARB Apex Bank, Nana Frimpong Asare, who also represented the Managing Director of Apex Bank, Alex Kwasi Awuah, expressed his joy to the management for improving the fortunes of the East Akin Rural Bank.

He appealed to other community rural banks to emulate East Akim Rural Bank and encouraged customers to enrol on to the Ghana Pay Platform.