ARB Apex Bank posts impressive performance in 2019 - Profit, assets, operational income up

BY: Charles Benoni Okine
Dr Tony Aubynn
Dr Tony Aubynn

ARB Apex Bank managed to record a moderate increase in its profit before tax from GH¢0.91 million in 2018 to GH¢1.0 million last year, representing a growth of 10 per cent.

Although falling interest rates remained a burden on the profitability of bank, it still managed to put up an impressive performance, increasing its total operating income by 17 per cent from GH¢55.5 million in 2018 to GH¢64.96 million in 2019.
Assets of the bank recorded a significant growth of over 47 per cent from GH¢394.5 million in 2018 to GH¢582.4 million in 2019.
This sharp growth, according to the bank, was mainly due to a rise in deposits and revaluation of the head office building, which value went up by more than GH¢23.7 million. Deposits also grew by 43 per cent from GH¢341.2 million in 2018 to GH¢488.9 million in 2019.
There was a corresponding growth of 64 per cent in loans and advances, rising from GH¢37.8 million in 2018 to GH¢62.1 million in 2019, due to the extension of more credit and liquidity support to the Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) for on-lending to their customers.
These came to light when the ARB Apex Bank  held a virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the weekend.
Optimism about the future
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr Tony Aubynn, in his annual report, said “the fact that we were now holding a virtual AGM confirms the cliché that “proves that we are truly not in normal times.”
He was, however, optimistic that the situation would normalise so that there could be an opportunity for all directors and shareholders of the bank to meet again.
Capital requirement
Dr Aubynn encouraged shareholders of the RCBs which had not yet met the new regulatory minimum capital of GH¢1.0 million to work harder to shore up their capital reserves.
Innovation to serve customers better
The Managing Director of the bank, Mr Kojo Mattah, on his part said the bank “continued with our push to launch our much-awaited World Bank funded agency banking, which is in three phases. Phase one is the data centre upgrade, for which a contract has already been awarded. The second phase involves the procurement of equipment and has gone through the various stages. I can assure all shareholders converged virtually that this project would culminate in the phase three, which will be launched before the end of 2020.”
Appreciation to previous directors
Mr Mattah also took the opportunity to thank the previous board “for the immense leadership and support they provided the bank. Their support for the many initiatives we took, including the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) project, the completion of an ultra-modern office building complex at Koforidua to house our Eastern Regional office and the Association of Rural Banks. This novel project, we believe, will go a long way in reducing our rental costs.”
He commended the immediate past directors for pushing management very hard to complete the Eastern Region project within one year.
Mr Mattah said “we could not inaugurate the office as all of us were taken unawares by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With permission from the new board, I am confident that as soon as things normalise and the ban on large gatherings is lifted, we shall be happy to invite the former directors to also come and be part of the grand opening of the history they have helped to write in the annals of ARB Apex Bank and rural banking in general.”