Kintampo (B/A), Nov. 10, GNA - The Kintampo Rural Bank made a profit of 1.03 billion cedis before tax last year, an increase of 24.10 per cent over the previous years.
Mr E.K Kwapong, Managing Director of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) Apex Bank Limited made this known on Saturday in a speech read on his behalf at the Bank's annual general meeting to review it performance at Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region.
He said at the end of June 2004, the profit before tax was 384.54 million cedis, adding that, total paid up capital of the bank for 31st December, 2003 was 120 billion; an increase of 10 per cent over the previous years and the figure for June was 1.2 billion cedis, which is higher than the minimum requirement of 100 million cedis for existing rural banks.
He commended the banks for increasing its lending to 5.57 billion cedis, an increase of 45.8 per cent over the previous years saying, the lending figure as at June 2004 was 5.89 billion cedis.
He appealed to those who borrow from the bank to make good their obligations to enable more credit facilities to other customers. This is the only way the bank could continue to grow and provide financial services to the community, he stressed.
He said the issue of a good board has been the critical issue facing the bank and suggested that selection of board members should be based on high public-spirited persons who have shown interest in developmental programmes of the catchments areas of the bank.
Mr Kwapong cautioned that the election of directors to the board should be devoid of favouritism and nepotism but must be based on competencies, skills, knowledge and experience.
He said an operational unit called efficiency-monitoring unit established in August this year at the Apex Bank, with support from the Rural Enterprise Project (REP) is to ensure efficient operation of rural banks with immediate focus on none performing banks.
The Apex link domestic funds transfer products launched last year has been very remarkable and based on that, a new product called "Home Sweet Home" shall be introduced to target settlers groups in particular areas to enable them channel their savings to their respective towns and villages.
He said Apex Bank would soon open its branches in Takoradi, Sunyani, Bolgatanga, Accra and Kumasi to bring services to the doorsteps of rural banks, adding that, rural banks will linked up with Apex bank for data transfer and voice communication.
He stated that the phase of rural banking would be enhanced with modern technology and the Apex Bank is working tirelessly to ensure that its successful implementation and advised the Banks to be careful of unscrupulous people, who would take advantage of the unsuspecting clients to cheat them in the name of computerization.
He entreated the management and board of the banks to work assiduously with commitment and dedication to improve their performance and to achieve their objectives.
Mr Kwaku Poku, Chairman of the Board of Directors in his report stated that the bank has set aside 153.7 million cedis as dividend to be paid to shareholders of the bank.
He said the bank total deposit has increased from 6.0 billion cedis in year 2002 to 8.4 billion cedis last year recording an increase of 40 per cent, adding that, the bank recorded 29.4 per cent increase in its investment from 3.4 billion cedis to 4.4 billion cedis at the end of the year.
The Bank assisted some contractors working on the District Assembly project financially to accomplish their project He said the Bank has decided to open two agencies at Jema, Kintampo South and Kenten/Anyinabirim in Techiman District and appealed to ARB Apex Bank Limited to ensure the smooth opening of the agencies. Mr J.K. Bomfeh, Kintampo District Chief Executive (DCE) commended the Bank on its enviable record of performing its social obligations in improvement of sanitation standards, financial grants to needy but brilliant students and donations.
He said the District Assembly would continue to channel all micro credit facilities through the bank and urged that the loans when accessed should be paid back on time to enable the bank extend similar facilities to other customers.
He advised all to cooperate with each other so that there would be peace before during and after the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.