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17.07.2005 Business & Finance

Rural banks face good corporate governance

GNA

Nyinahin (Ash), July 17, GNA - Mr E.K. Kwapong, Managing Director of the Apex Bank has stated that one of the critical issues facing rural banking system in the country was the issue of good governance. He explained that rural banks needed good boards that were well informed, ethical and initiate developmental programmes and projects. This was contained in an address read on his behalf at the 19th annual general meeting of the Amanano Rural Bank at Nyinahin in the Atwima-Mponua district of Ashanti at the weekend.

He therefore, cautioned that the election of persons to serve on the boards of rural banks should be devoid of favouritism and nepotism. "It is only through experience, skills, knowledge and competence that rural banks can achieve their overall corporate objectives". In addition, Mr Kwapong said, the applicant wishing to serve in all aspects should be a person who had the zeal and commitment to serve in all aspects of the environment and be very supportive of viable plans. Mr Kwapong advised the shareholders of the bank to stop the constant changing of board members and management of the bank since that did not augur well for growth of the bank.

He commended the Interim Management Board and staff of the Amanano Rural Bank for lifting it from the doldrums into which it fell to make a modest turnover and encouraged them to continue with the good work they had started.

Mr Osei Amo-Mensah, Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the bank in his report, announced that the bank recorded profit before tax of 821.5 million cedis, while the total income increased from 1.8 million cedis in 2003 to 2.2 million cedis.

Deposits, he said, grew from 9.7 million cedis in 2003 to 11.5 million cedis while the total assets of the bank now stood at 13.9 billion cedis from the 2003 figure of 11 billion cedis recording an increase of 27 per cent while investments grew from 5.7 billion cedis in 2003 to 8.8 billion cedis.

Mr Amo-Mensah said the IMC adopted prudent measures to streamline the administration of the bank but pointed out that the repayment of loans totalling about 297 million cedis given out between 1996 to 2003 were still outstanding and therefore asked the defaulters to pay up before they were dragged to court. July 17 05

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