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16.10.2005 Business & Finance

Rural banks need continuous support to perform

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Kumawu (Ash), Oct 16, GNA - Mr Emmanuel Kwapong, Managing Director of the APEX Bank, has said that rural banks need the continuous support from shareholders, regulatory authorities, customers and the general public to be able to perform the crucial function of rural financial intermediation.

He said, of utmost importance, was that rural banks themselves need to improve on their general control systems, shareholders fund, effective deposit mobilization and efficient management. This was contained in an address read on his behalf by Mr Seth Ankrah, Manager of the Kumasi branch of the APEX Bank at the 12th Annual General Meeting of shareholders of Kumawuman Rural Bank at Kumawu in the Sekyere-East District of Ashanti on Saturday.

Mr Kwapong said the performance of rural banks has been very encouraging, as they have consistently registered impressive deposit mobilization and increases in share capitals, which were indicators of growing public confidence in the rural banking concept. The Managing Director indicated that the APEX Bank has taken the necessary steps to facilitate the provision of vital support services to the rural banks.

He said, already specie supply services were being rendered to all rural banks in the country through the use of bullion vans, and urged all rural banks to patronize these services, as they were more secured, safer and cheaper than other means of evacuating cash. Mr Godfried Amoah, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kumawuman Rural Bank, in his report said, the bank ended the year 2004, with a pre-tax profit of 1.1 billion cedis compared with 1.2 billion cedis in 2003, showing a decrease of eight per cent. He pointed out that, profit after tax consequently decreased from 1 billion cedis to 984 million cedis in the year 2004, representing a decrease of 1.6 per cent.

Mr Amoah indicated that the bank's total income rose from 2.7 billion in 2003 to 3.7 billion cedis in 2004, while total assets of the bank also increased by 27 per cent from 13.1 billion cedis in 2003 to 17.8 billion cedis during the period under review.

He said under the period, net advances granted by the bank increased significantly by 100 per cent from 1.9 billion cedis in 2003 to 3.8 billion cedis in 2004 and increased its deposit base by 33 per cent from 11.2 billion cedis in 2003 to 14.9 billion cedis in 2004. Mr Philip Basoah, Sekyere-East District Chief Executive congratulated the bank for its remarkable turn round in its fortunes and urged the directors to work hard to support farmers in the area to improve on their living standards.

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