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24.11.2004 Business & Finance

Apex Bank to launch "Efie Ne Fie" product

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Kwamang (Ash), Nov. 24, GNA - The ARB Apex Bank Limited would soon launch a new product called "Efie Ne Fie", literally meaning "Home is Home", Mr. E.K. Kwapong, Managing Director of the Bank has announced.

He said the product would make it easier for urban settler groups from the rural areas to have access to rural banking services by channelling their savings to their respective towns and villages. In an address read on his behalf at the 13th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Kwamanman Rural Bank (KRB) Limited at Kwamang at the weekend, Mr. Kwapong said the product would also widen the deposit base of the rural and community banks.

He said modalities for the appointment of directors to boards of rural/community banks were being reviewed to enable the rural banks to meet the challenges of modern banking and global technological advancement.

Under the review, prospective directors would be holders of secondary school leaving certificate or its equivalent and also with sound knowledge in agriculture, banking, accountancy, management, law, finance and mathematics.

Mr. Kwapong appealed to shareholders not to consider the proposal as something that affected their right to serve as directors of their various boards when necessary but as a mechanism for the growth and progress of rural banks for their mutual benefit.

For the year under review, the KRB made a pre-tax profit of 420.4 million cedis as against 16.9 million cedis it made in 2000.

Deposits rose from 4.6 billion cedis in 2000 to 13.8 billion cedis in 2003 while loans its loans increased from 1.6 billion cedis in 2000 to 13.8 billion cedis in 2003. The Bank's total assets grew from 5.3 billion cedis in 2000 to 15.2 billion cedis in 2003.

Mr. Kwapong, though happy with KRB's paid up capital of 102.6 million cedis, urged the bank to improve upon the figure in subsequent fiscal years.

He also appealed to shareholders to increase their holdings in the bank to enable it have long-term funds to expand its activities. Mr. S.E. Wiafe, the Board Chairman mentioned agriculture, cottage industry, transport and trading as sectors that had benefited from the bank's loan scheme.

He appealed to those who took loans from the bank to repay them promptly to enable others to also benefit.

According to the Chairman, the Bank spent a total of 6.5 million cedis to support the education of 65 brilliant but needy students at the basic and senior secondary school levels.

Mr. Owner Kofi Owusu, a transport owner of Asante Mampong and Alhaji Mohammed Amponsah of Mamps Services Limited, Kumasi, both customers of the bank, jointly donated an air-condition valued at 8.5 million cedis to the Kumasi Agency of the KRB. 24 Nov. 04

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