Akuapem Rural Bank marks 37th milestone

BY: Zadok K. Gyesi
 Mr Penros Ofosu, the longest-serving employee of the bank, receiving his reward from a board member
Mr Penros Ofosu, the longest-serving employee of the bank, receiving his reward from a board member

The Akuapem Rural Bank Limited in the Eastern Region has held its 37th Annual General Meeting (AGM), with a call by the Board Chairman of the bank, Mr George Kwasi Oware, on its existing and prospective customers to continue to do business with the bank, since it offers better products and services that grow businesses, particularly those of small and medium-scale enterprises.

According to the board chairman, the bank had introduced innovative products and services that offered customers better security on their investments.

Performance  

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Mr Oware said the customer-tailored products and services that the bank had in place gave customers a competitive advantage over others.

He said the good policies the bank continued to introduce and develop had enabled its deposits to grow by 22.6 per cent from GH¢ 39,958,151 in 2016 to GH¢48,987,727 in 2017.

He explained, for instance that the bank’s total assets/liabilities increased by 19.2 per cent from GH¢50,901,851 in 2016 to GH¢60,673,306 in 2017 on the back of significant growth in deposits.


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The Board Chairman, Mr George Kwasi Oware

“Our product, the Akusika (Susu) scheme enjoyed impressive patronage in all our operational areas,” Mr Oware said, and commended stakeholders of the bank for their continued support and trust.  

“Our cherished customers deserve commendation for impressively patronising our products,” he added.

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He said the bank’s net income increased from GH¢ 9,974,205 in 2016 to GH¢ 10,515,593 in 2017, representing a 5.6 percentage increase over the results for the previous year.

In addition, he said the bank’s paid up capital also increased by six per cent, going from GH¢1,673,331 in 2016 to GH¢1,774,246 in 2017.

The board chairman said total loans and advances disbursed in 2017 amounted to GH¢25, 975,700, of which 52.4 per cent, that is, GH¢ 13, 607, 250 was disbursed under the Credit with Education (CwE) scheme.

Moreover, he said the bank’s loans and advances saw a marginal increase of 4.3 per cent, moving from GH¢ 14, 751,628 in 2016 to GH¢ 15,379,767 in 2017.

Achievements

Mr Oware explained that the bank’s steady performance had enabled it to jump from the 12th position it attained in 2016 to 5th position among 142 Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) in the 2017 quarterly ranking run by the Efficiency Monitoring Unit (EMU) of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) Apex bank.

A section of the participants

He said the quarterly ranking made use of 16 criteria grouped under the following target areas; capital, asset quality, asset utilisation, earnings/profitability and liquidity (CAAEL), and added that “we will work harder to sustain and improve upon this performance”.

He stated further that the bank had also improved its standing on the Ghana Club 100 rankings to become the 51st best performing corporate entity, up from the 61st position in the year 2016.

Safety of investment  

The General Manager of the bank, Mr Samuel Mbir, said in spite of the many challenges confronting the banking sector, the bank continued to be a key force in view of its good policies and experience in the field.

He said the bank had gathered enough experience in its 37 years of existence and this had helped it to continue to grow and improve on its finances.

A section of the participants

Mr Mbir said no customer of the bank had ever been denied their savings and that the bank gave competitive rates to its customers.

“We have always been solid and once you do business with us, we give you rates that are competitive as well,” Mr Mbir said, adding that “the safety of your funds is our paramount concern.”

He said the bank also gave good return on investments its customers had with it and pointed out that the bank would continue to introduce products and services that were critical to the wellbeing of its customers and their investments.

Turbulence in banking sector

The Head of the ICT Department of the ARB Apex Bank, Mr Charles Pinkrah, who spoke on behalf of the Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, admonished managers of Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) to take a cue from the ongoing turbulence in the financial sector and reposition themselves well.

Board members, management and some dignitaries at the event

He said the Bank of Ghana (BoG) had served notice that it would liquidate all non-performing banks and the RCBs were not immune from the measure.

He commended the Akuapem Rural Bank for meeting the new capital requirement put in place by the BoG and urged other RCBs that were yet to meet their capital requirement to expedite action in order not to attract sanctions from the ARB Apex bank.

Invest

The Guest Speaker for the occasion was the Akuapem Hemaa, Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo II. She encouraged indigenes from Akuapem to invest in the bank.

According to her, the bank was established to serve the interest of people in the area in particular and the country as whole and that when the bank prospered, the area would also prosper.

A customer asking a question during the AGM

She further urged customers who took loans from the bank to settle their indebtedness on time in order to enable others to also have access to the facility.

The acting Executive Director of the Eastern Regional branch of the Association of Rural Banks, Mrs Comfort Owusu, commended the bank for its frontline role in the finance sector in the region and the country as a whole.

She urged all RCBs to adopt modern technologies in their operations to enable them meet current demands in the banking and financial services.

Akuapem Rural bank

The Akuapem Rural Bank Limited, known formerly as the Akwapim Rural Bank Limited, was incorporated on August 29, 1980, making it the 12th rural bank to beestablished in the country and the third in the Eastern Region.

The bank has its headquarters at Mamfe and operates in five towns, namely, Adukrom, Nsawam, Koforidua, Aburi in the Eastern Region and Madina in the Greater Accra Region, its latest branch.

Mr Charles Dartey received the Employee of the Year award

Services that the bank offers include fixed deposit, Akusika Account, Medoba Account, Akuplus, Fixed Deposit Plus, microfinance credit with education, savings account, current account and institutional loans.

Others are loans transport, agro and cottage industry loan, Asore Nkoso loan, Afahye loan, salary loans, salary advance, funeral loan and hospitality loan.

Side attraction

On the occasion of the AGM, elections were conducted to elect new board members to replace the old board whose tenure had expired.

Some employees at the AGM

Also at the meeting, staff who had worked hard were honoured.

Mr Charles Dartey received the Employee of the Year award, while Mr Penrose Ofosu was honoured for being the longest-serving employee.