Pakyi No 2 (Ash), Oct 31, GNA - The Atwima-Kwanwoma Rural Bank has been rated the best rural bank in the country. Mr Emmanuel Kwapong, Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, said the rating stemmed from the performance of the bank, which had the largest total assets of 98.990 billion cedis.
In a speech read on his behalf at the 22nd annual general meeting of the bank at Pakyi No 2 at the weekend, he said the bank also had the largest deposit of 78.846 billion cedis and an investment portfolio of 46.766 billion cedis.
Mr Kwapong said the bank's net worth stood 14.580 billion cedis and its paid up capital was 1.252 million cedis and gave out total advances of 30.611 billion cedis.
With this performance, he said, the rating of the bank was very strong, adding "No doubt Atwima-Kwanwoma Rural Bank is among the 12 rural banks selected to the prestigious Ghana Club 100. Out of the 12 rural banks, Atwima-Kwanwoma Rural Bank is the first in the ratings". Mr Kwapong said the bank continued to be the training institution for some rural banks in the country and in Africa and that the bank was truly a pacesetter and commended the visionary and exemplary leadership of the bank.
He said the performance of most rural and community banks have been very encouraging as they had consistently registered impressive deposit mobilization and increases in share capital, which were indications of growing public confidence in the rural banking system. The Managing Director said these achievements notwithstanding rural banks still had a lot more to do by way of organizational restructuring and effective credit administration so as to meet the challenges of the increasingly complex and sophisticated business environment.
In his annual report to the shareholders, Mr George Kyei Baffour, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, said the bank registered an impressive profit before tax of 6.1 billion cedis as against 3.1 billion cedis the previous year and said it was a commendable increase of 94.8 per cent.
Based on this excellent performance, the bank has set aside one billion cedis to be paid as dividends to shareholders. Mr Baffour said work on the senior secondary school project for the Pakyi community being funded by the bank would begin soon. So far, he said, the bank has fenced the plot, extended electricity to the site, constructed a borehole and moulded 45,000 blocks.
"Since the 300 million cedis we promised to use every year is almost finished, we would provide additional funds from our profit this year to continue with the project".
Mr Baffour said the first phase of the project estimated to cost 1.5 billion cedis and would be completed within five years from the profits of the bank and therefore called on all those who have the project at heart to contribute in diverse ways to make the project succeed.
He said the bank was adopting a number of strategies to enhance its operations and mentioned some as strengthening and resourcing the credit departments to cope with the bank's expansion. Others, he said include the repacking of products and services to meet customers demands and needs and co-opting professionals into the board.