Agona-Nkwanta (W/R) Aug. 31, GNA - The Ahantaman Rural Bank declared a total of 1.436 billion cedis for the year 2002 as against 477.6 million cedis in 2001.
Mr. Peter Kwame Ansah, chairman of the board of directors of the bank announced this at the 15th Annual General Meeting of the Bank held at Agona-Nkwanta in the Ahanta-wWst District at the weekend. He said the bank's total deposit from customers also rose from 9.58 billion cedis as at December 31, 2001 to 13 billion cedis.
Mr. Ansah disclosed that the bank also granted loans and overdrafts to the tune of 3.95 billion cedis to its customers, made up of fishermen, cottage industrialists and salaried workers in 2002. The amount, he said, fell short of the loans and overdrafts granted to customers in 2001, which stood at 4.11 billion cedis.
Mr. Ansah said the bank's total assets base increased from 12 billion cedis to 17.5 billion cedis in 2002. He hinted that construction work on the bank's permanent office premises has started.
On community services, Mr. Ansah said the bank assisted the Lower Axim Traditional Council with sanitary tools and equipment during the year as well as granted scholarships to the tune of 20.7 million cedis to ninety-one brilliant but needy students to study in Senior Secondary Schools and Universities in the country.
In his address, Mr. Boyd Donkor, Deputy Chief Manager of the banking supervision Department of the Bank of Ghana, commended Ahantaman Rural Bank for making significant progress in its operation over the years and asked the shareholders, board, management and staff not to be complacent, but to continue to work harder.
He noted that the reduction in the Treasury bill discount rate poses a great challenge to rural banks, which depend heavily on income from Treasury bill investments. Mr. Donkor said this situation calls on the board and management of rural banks to explore alternative ways like increased credit to improve their earning performance.
He observed however, that the credit management function of most rural banks has been unsatisfactory, leading to poor repayments and consequent deterioration in the loan asset quality with its attendant effect on profitability.
Mr. Donkor therefore, urged rural banks to strengthen credit management procedures in order to achieve good loan portfolio quality, whilst enhancing liquidity and profitability.
He implored the directors and management of Ahantaman Rural Bank to institute effective internal control measures to forestall any fraudulent practices likely to undermine the stability of the bank and adversely affect its operations.