Kumasi, June 20, GNA - The ARB Apex Bank made a profit before tax of 18.3 billion cedis on its operations last year, Dr (Mrs) Gloria Nikoi, Chairman of the Board of Directors, has announced. Business operations of the bank started in July 2002, and the comparable profit for that year was 3.8 billion cedis.
Dr (Mrs) Nikoi was presenting her report at the second Annual General Meeting of the bank held at the Miklin Hotel in Kumasi at the weekend.
She said during the period under review, its total income grew to 32.2 billion cedis from 7.1 billion cedis, while deposits rose from 50.6 billion cedis to 96.6 billion cedis.
At the same time, total assets increased by 69 percent from 85.6 billion cedis to 144.7 billion cedis.
Dr (Mrs) Nikoi described the achievements made by the bank within the relatively short period as "remarkable by any standard". She said as part of measures to help deliver enhanced services to Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) closer to their doorsteps, five branches were to be opened in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Sunyani and Bolgatanga over the next two years.
The selection of contractors to undertake the renovation of the various premises that had been acquired for the branches was currently underway.
The Board Chairman told the meeting that the Apex Bank presently had four Mercedes Benz bullion vans deployed to deliver cash to RCBs in the Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Sunyani zones and that soon the services would be extended to Bolgatanga, Koforidua and the Sefwi-Boako zones. Arrangements were also far advanced for the setting up of a Foreign Operations Department, which apart from arranging foreign funds transfers would help RCBs identify and support the small-scale non-traditional export sector since the majority of enterprises and individuals engaged in the sector operated in rural areas.
She announced that a Rural Banking Training School to provide an all-year-round training for directors and staff of those banks was to be established at Nsoatre in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The site for the school, a 50-acre plot, the Board Chairman said, had been identified and that the Bank was in the process of acquiring it.