Akyem Swedru, Nov. 21, GNA - The Akyem Bosome Rural Bank at Akim Swedru, made a net profit of 874 million cedis in 2004 as against 1.1 billion cedis in 2003, representing a reduction by 20 per cent. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, Mr Kwaku Owusu-Baah disclosed this at the 16th Annual General Meeting of the bank at Akyem Swedru on Saturday.
He attributed the reduction in profit margin to the stablilization of micro economic environment, which resulted in decline of interest rate generally, which led to a decrease in their revenues from investments in government bills.
Mr Owusu-Baah said however that, the bank's performance in other areas was encouraging, adding that, investments for example went up from 3.4 billion cedis in 2003 to almost five billion cedis in 2004, while the assets base of the bank improved from 12.4 billion cedis in 2003 to 15 billion cedis 2004.
He further announced that during the year under review, the bank gave out a contract for the construction of a permanent premises for the bank at the cost of 1.2 billion cedis, adding, " the bank will spend another 200 million cedis to install air conditions and fully furnish the building".
The Manager of the bank Mr Kwadwo Antwi Okyere said the bank was coming up with new attractive products for the public to enable them to mobilize higher levels of deposits.
He said staff training programme was being put in place to train the staff to make them more productive, adding, "we are already in discussion with the Apex bank to computerized the bank's operations". In a speech read on his behalf, the Mananging Director of (ARB) Apex Bank limited, Mr Emmanuel K. Kwapong commended the bank for it's results and urged it to keep it up.
Mr Kwapong said the ARB Apex Bank had decided to assist to stem the rural-urban migration in search of non-existing jobs by assisting the rural banks to develop small-scale enterprises in the rural areas, which could be supported through credit from the rural banks.
The Birim South District Chief Executive, Mr Frank Kwame Busumtwi commended the bank for fulfilling its social responsibilities by spending 41 million cedis so far on 15 students in scholarships. He appealed to the bank to be customer friendly to be able to attract and retain more customers
The Director of ARB Apex bank, Mr Kwadwo Konadu Asiamah said the association had initiated discussions with the Ghana Aids Commission to get funding to carry out HIV/AIDS education and awareness for their directors, management and staff, as well as customers of rural banks. He denied rumours that customers of rural banks, who were seeking financial assistance from the banks were being asked to go in for HIV/AIDS test, before being granted the money.
Mr Asiamah said the secretariat had already circulated an HIV/AIDS policy guidelines for rural and community banks for compliance.