The Sefwiman Rural Bank in Bibiani in the Western North Region made giant strides in the 2021 financial year in spite of the challenges that confronted the national economy.
The bank recorded a profit before tax of GH¢1.26 million for 2021 as against GH¢492,235 for 2020, representing an increase of 156 per cent.
This translated into a profit after tax of GH¢948,168 in 2021, which also represents a sharp increase of 162 per cent over the 2020 figure of GH¢362,320.
Addressing the 16th annual general meeting of the bank in Bibiani in the Bibiani/Anhwiaso/Bekwai municipality over the weekend, the Board Chairman of the bank, Dr Francis Kwaku Aboagye-Otchere, attributed the gains to the commitment to prudent risk management and sticking to the strategic direction of the bank.
"Notwithstanding the immense challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in the decline of Ghana’s economic growth and the continued implementation of banking sector reforms during the year, your bank was steadfast in its pursuit for robust growth and sustainable profitability," he said.
He stated that the bank's gross earnings also increased from GH¢7.50 million in 2020 to more than GH¢9.36 million at the end of 2021, showing an increase of 25 per cent.
The Board Chairman stated that loans and advances grew from GH¢12.18 million in 2020 to GH¢14.84 million in 2021, showing an increase of 22 per cent, however, Investments declined by four per cent from GH¢27.78 million in 2020 to GH¢26.62 million at the end of 2021.
"Distinguished shareholders, notwithstanding the Bank of Ghana directive (NOTICE NO. BG/GOV/SEC/2020/03) dated 20th April 2020 preventing banks from paying a dividend, your Board of Directors acknowledging the sacrifices you have made over the years decided to seek Bank of Ghana's approval to pay a dividend to shareholders," he said.
"We, therefore, recommend the payment of a dividend of 4 Pesewas per share amounting to GH¢259,088. However, shareholders are encouraged to use their dividends to buy additional shares to shore up the stated capital to reposition the bank to absorb any future shocks," the board chairman announced.
Corporate Social Responsibility
The CEO of the bank, Richard Kwame Adjei, for his part, said the bank remained committed to the cause of its corporate social responsibility and pledged to continue honouring its support to the people in its catchment and operational areas.
He mentioned some of the support it offered during the period as the donation of assorted items to the various district and municipal assemblies in their catchment areas towards the 2021 Farmers' Day celebration and support to various education directorates within its catchment areas, among others.
The Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank PLC, Alex Kwasi Awuah, praised the management and board of the bank for their dedication and commitment to their operations.
He also lauded them for the prudent measures they put in place, leading to the attainment of a steady growth year on year in most of their key financial indicators as a bank.