The Management of Juaben Rural Bank recorded a profit before tax of 1.9 billion cedis in 2006 representing a decrease of 13.83 per cent over the 2005 profit of 2.205 billion cedis.
Mr Kwabena Asante-Krobea, Chairman of the Board of Directors, who announced this explained that reduction of interest rates on money markets where the bank derived most of its investments income impacted negatively on its gross earnings of 11.08 billion cedis in 2006 as against 9.83 billion cedis in 2005, a modest increase of 12.66 per cent.
He was addressing the 22nd Annual General Meeting of the bank's shareholders at Juaben on Saturday.
Mr Asante-Krobea said the bank's total outstanding loans and advances were 29.522 billion cedis in 2006 as against 23.535 billion cedis in 2005, representing 25.44 per cent increase.
As part of its social responsibility, he said the bank provided 68.515 million cedis worth of scholarships to 17 students in second cycle and tertiary institutions and invested 104.6 million cedis in the provision of priority social amenities within its catchment area.
Mr Asante-Krobea announced that the bank had developed a new product, "Daakye Nti Investment" to inculcate long-term savings culture among individuals in the informal sector that was impacting positively on the bank's savings mobilization drive.
He pointed out that the successful implementation of the re-denomination of the cedi would depend on good customer relationship with the bank's management and staff and pledged their commitment to embark on vigorous educational programmes for the people.
He said the bank had initiated a micro-finance scheme not only to improve the living standard of the people especially women but in addition increase their income.
Mr Duke Osam-Duodu, Deputy Managing Director of Apex Bank Limited, cautioned management of rural banks to be wary of fraud in the banking industry.
He advised them to be vigilant, attend clearing on daily basis, use enquiry minds and also strengthen the internal control systems.
Mr Osam-Duodo asked them to encourage residents within their catchment areas to transact business with them to reduce the challenges associated with the re-denomination of the cedi.
He noted that the banking industry had become competitive with the influx of banks from other West African countries and advised management of rural banks to be aggressive and adopt flexible approach to their banking system to add value to the shareholders' fund and increase profit levels.
Mr Osam-Duodu said the concept of "Zero account opening balance" should be embraced by rural banks to bring banking services to the doorsteps of rural dwellers.
Nana Otuo Serebour II, Juabenhene, commended the management and staff of the bank for performing creditably for the bank to sustain its membership on the "Ghana Club 100" since its inception in 2002.
He asked shareholders to increase their shares and advised customers to buy shares to enable the bank serve the public satisfactorily.