The Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, Mr Emmanuel K. Kwapong, has advised rural and community banks to embark on aggressive and flexible approaches to banking in order to increase their profit levels and survive in the increasing competition in the banking industry.
“You should also strengthen your internal control mechanisms to ensure that the banks operate in a sound and safe financial environment,” Mr Kwapong said.
The managing director of the Apex Bank, a mini central bank for the rural banks, gave the advice in an address read on his behalf at the 19th annual general meeting of the Kaaseman Rural Bank at Kaase in the Western Region.
He stated that the ARB Apex Bank had over the years undertaken a number of activities which had helped to strengthen the operations of rural and community banks.
Mr Kwapong urged the rural bank to enhance its product base by granting good advances to companies, enterprises and individuals within its environs in order to improve the livelihood of the rural community.
Presenting the annual report and financial statement of the bank, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Kwame Twumasi Ankra, said the bank recorded a profit before tax of GH¢55,030 (¢550.3 million) in 2006 as against GH¢88,030 (¢880.3 million) in 2005.
He said total loans and overdrafts outstanding in all sectors, including agriculture, trade, cottage industries, salary workers and micro-credits increased from GH¢1.30 million (¢13 billion) in 2005 to GH¢1.49 million (¢14.9 billion) in 2006.
The bank's total assets also increased within the same period from GH¢1.46 million (¢41.6 billion) to GH¢5.14 million (¢51.4 billion) while its investment in treasury bills jumped from GH¢1.10 million (¢11 billion) to GH¢1.85 million (¢18.5 billion).
The bank honoured 10 staff for hard work and dedication, including the Chief Manager, Mr David King Gbeblewu, who has served the bank for over 20 years.
Story by Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah