04.10.2004 Business & Finance

Qualification for Board of Directors spelt out

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Abokobi (G/A), Oct. 4, GNA - The ARB Apex Bank Limited Bank plans to support the Government stem the rural-urban migration by assisting rural banks to develop occupation, which could be supported through micro credit schemes.

Mr Richard Mettle Addo, Head of Training Department of the ARB Apex Bank, said this at the 12th Annual General Meeting of the Abokobi Area Rural Bank at Abokobi, near Accra. He said efforts were underway to enhance group dynamics, group formation and animation for assistance through various schemes currently being supported by the Government. He noted that in fulfilment of the responsibilities to provide support for rural banks in accomplishing their potentials, the Apex Bank had introduced comprehensive training package for staffs of rural banks.

"We are equipping staffs of the banks with the capacity to handle various vocational practices in their catchment areas in offers, which would be enhanced to enable them to appraise simple initiatives such as beekeeping, snail rearing, mushroom development and aquaculture." Mr Addo urged shareholders of Rural Banks to adhere to the eligibility criteria for the selection of Board of Directors to ensure prudent management practices. He said the rural banking systems was undergoing transformation to ensure best practices and, therefore, operators in the sector needed a critical examination of "where we are coming from, where we are, and where we want to go."

Mr Addo said some of the criteria for selecting Board of Directors included experience in the areas of agriculture, banking, accountancy, economic, management, law, finance, mathematics or any other banking related disciplines. He said "one of the critical issues facing the rural banking system today is the issue of good governance, by this we mean a good board, a board which is well informed and ethical in nature".

Mr Sam Clegg, former Managing Director of Ghana News Agency, who chaired the meeting, commended the bank for prudent managerial practices that had transformed its fortunes in a short period. He noted in particular the Susu Schemes, support for first cycle schools, farmers, religious institutions, social responsibility and other services aimed at empowering its numerous clients.

Presenting the financial position of the bank, Mr Clegg, who is the Board Chairman, said it recorded a Gross Profit of 102.2 per cent - 581,678,020 cedis in 2003 compared to 287,625,635 cedis in 2002. The Bank also mobilised 6.684 billion cedis in 2003 compared to 4.394 billion cedis recorded in 2002 an increase of 52.1 per cent, while the assets of the Bank rose from 5.395 billion cedis to 8.279 billion cedis representing an increase of 53.5 per cent.

Investment fortunes of the Bank also shut up from 3.319 billion cedis in 2002 to 4.450 billion cedis in 2003, while loans and overdrafts moved from 1.265 billion cedis in 2002 to 2.513 billion cedis representing an increase of 98.7 per cent. The Bank recorded a noteworthy growth of 63.8 per cent - from 778.991 million cedis in 2002 to 1.276 billion cedis in 2003. The stated capital went up from 60.87 million cedis in 2002 to 111.23 million cedis in 2003, while a dividend of 100.00 cedis per share of 553,236 shares totalling 55,232,600.00 was declared.

Mr Clegg urged shareholders to increase their share capital to ensure that the Bank met the new threshold for rural banks set by the Bank of Ghana.

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