Mamfi-Akuapem (E/R), Nov 6, GNA - The Akuapem Rural Bank on Saturday declared a 17 per cent decrease in its profit before tax from 1.8 billion cedis in 2003 to 1.5 billion cedis by December 2004. The bank's total assets, however, increased by 41 per cent from 24.5 billion cedis to 34.6 billion cedis while it also increased its deposits from 16.7 billion cedis in 2003 to 23.7 billion cedis during the period. The Chairman of the Interim Board of Directors, Mr Edward Ofei-Bekoe, who announced this at the Bank's Silver Jubilee celebration and 24th Annual General Meeting at Mamfe-Akuapem on Saturday, said a dividend of 20 cedis per a share had been declared.
He said deposits increased from 16.7 billion cedis to 23.7 billion cedis during the period and explained that this was due largely to the "Akusika Susu Products," which alone mobilised 11.7 billion cedis. Mr Ofei-Bekoe said the bank had started its computerisation programme under and was loading customer information into the computers. He appealed to the customers to update their records and said the bank hoped to complete its office building at Mamfe to make room for the increase in the volume of work.
Mr Ofei-Bekoe stated that it had also acquired a plot of land at Aburi for the construction of a new agency building.
Mr Ofei-Bekoe announced that the term of the current interim Board of Directors would be ending this month and said the Bank of Ghana would give a date for an extra-ordinary general meeting for the election of new Board.
He urged those interested to serve on the Board to file their nomination with the Secretary through the Acting Manager of the Bank. The Head of the Training Department of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) APEX Bank, Mr Richard Mettle Addo, paid tribute to Mrs (Dr) Gloria Nikoi, a former Chairman of the Board for her 24 years contribution towards the development of the Bank and the Rural Banking system in Ghana.
He called on the bank to diversify its investment portfolio through the identification of higher yielding opportunities. Mr Addo said the ARB APEX Bank was organising a series of training for the staff of Rural Banks to equip them with the knowledge on effective management of their shareholding register, management of their computerisation programme and other programmes needed to strengthen and sustain the gains made by rural banks.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah, appealed to Rural Banks to consider an increase in the interest they pay on savings to attract more customers.
He also appealed to liberalise their requirements for loans to encourage young entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas who did not have the necessary collateral to back their demand. To mark the 25th Anniversary, citations were presented to the members of the first Board of Directors while awards were presented to some outstanding customers as well of some of the staff who had served the bank for over ten years.