Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank Limited in the Amansie West district of Ashanti Region has made another remarkable growth in all the financial indicators for the 2014 year under review.
The bank posted a net profit of approximately GH¢4.4million in the 2014 period under review as against a little over GH¢ 3.52million in the previous year, representing a growth of 25.51%.
The bank mobilised approximately GH¢6.7million in 2014 bringing the total deposit portfolio at the close of the year to GH¢ 58,268,028 as against about GH¢51.3million the previous year, representing a satisfactory growth of 13.57%.
According to him, the Ghanaian economy in the year under review saw a constant fall of the cedi against major currencies. Inflation -- which at the end of 2013 was 13.5% -- shot up to 17% at close of December 2014. The Bank of Ghana Monetary Policy Rate, which was pegged at the beginning of the year at 16%. was intermittently increased and finally ended at 21%.
In spite of these challenges, the bank through prudent measures managed to put up a remarkable performance as always for the year ended 31 December 2014 as shown in the table below.
In line with the Board of Directors’ decision to ensure that the financial returns to shareholders of the bank continue to grow, the Board has proposed a dividend payment of GH¢0.0827 per share, amounting to GH¢891,669 in monetary terms. The Chairman assured shareholders of the bank that the Board will continue to make decisions and investments that will be in the best interests of shareholders.
The bank continues to make significant investments in the area of education, health and sanitation, as well as agriculture in its operational territories as part of its corporate social responsibilities. The bank has also instituted a scholarship scheme that provides financial support to needy but brilliant children to further their education at the secondary and tertiary school levels.
A total of GH¢65,914 was expended toward corporate social responsibilities in the 2014 year under review. Significant among them all was the reconstruction, extension and painting of the Pakyi No. 2 Presby ‘B’ Primary School, which totally collapsed after a heavy downpour.
The bank has also presented cheques to twenty (20) new students who have been awarded scholarships by the bank. The Chairman encouraged shareholders of the bank to increase their shares in order to increase profitability for such a great policy to be continued and expanded.
With the banking industry increasingly becoming sophisticated and more competitive in systems and structures as well as taste of customers, the Board is strategising and leaving no stone unturned to be abreast of the current trends in business so the bank will not to be left out of the race.
It is for these reasons that the bank has acquired a parcel of land at Santasi to put up its own befitting banking hall.
The bank was also offered the first option to buy the branch building at Ayigya, a suburb of Kumasi, which was up for sale. After considering the options of relocating or being under a new landlord, the Board upon advice from legal experts concluded a purchase agreement with the landlord at a cost of GH¢910,000.
The Supervising Manager of the bank, Mr. Stephen Sarfo Kantanka, told Business & Financial Times in an interview that the Board and management will continue to develop strategies aimed at growing the bank in all aspects of its operations.
“We have been the pacesetters of the rural banking industry as captured by our slogan, and we have to do everything possible to maintain or improve upon this enviable niche that we have carved for ourselves,” he stressed.
He emphasised that other very important areas include excellent customer service delivery, improved technological infrastructure, and offering diversified products and services to meet customer needs, offer quality loans, staff development, and ensuring maximum efficiency in all areas of operations.
The Deputy Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, Mr. Alex Awuah who represented the Managing Director of Apex Bank, Mr. Kwadwo Ayeh Kusi, congratulated the bank for its tremendous operational performance over the years.
He advised the Board to maintain the enviable corporate image the bank is currently enjoying and uphold integrity, because “all eyes are on you and Apex Bank expects more from you,” he said.
He praised the bank for maintaining its performance rating of being one of the strongest rural banks in Ghana, as per the EMU Report by Apex Bank that analyses operational performance of all the over one hundred and forty rural banks in Ghana.
In the chairman’s concluding remarks, he appreciated and acknowledged sacrifices of the hard working staff and management team for the splendid performance put up in 2014 despite the challenges that confronted the economy and stiff competition the bank experienced.