Kofiase (Ash), Nov. 28, GNA - The Otuasekan Rural Bank at Kofiase in the Sekyere West district of Ashanti declared 1.02 billion cedis as profit before tax for the financial year ending December 2004 as against 851.3 million cedis for 2003.
During the period, the bank's investments increased from nine billion cedis in 2003 to 12.3 billion cedis while its assets rose by 38 per cent to 26.3 billion cedis.
These were contained in a report delivered by Major Justice Isaac Baffour-Adjei (Rtd) Chairman of the bank's Interim Management Committee (IMC), at its 16th Annual General Meeting at Kofiase on Friday. In view of its high performance during the period, Major Baffour-Adjei announced a cash dividend of 49.8 million cedis for shareholders of the bank.
He told the shareholders that the net worth of the bank also grew from 1,8 billion cedis in 2003 to 2.5 billion cedis in 2004. Major Baffour-Adjei, who is also a retired High Court Judge, said the Bank rendered efficient and effective services to its clients because of prudent measures that had been adopted to streamline identified inefficiencies.
As part of the bank's social obligations, the IMC chairman said 80 million cedis was spent in 2004 to support the educational, health, social, infrastructure, agricultural and other key development projects in the area.
He announced the introduction of a new product known as "The Otuasekan Micro Finance Scheme" to help reduce poverty, especially among women within the bank's catchment area.
Major Baffour-Adjei said with the introduction of the scheme in January this year, 37 groups had already received 174 million cedis to expand their small-scale businesses.
He commended the shareholders for their support and urged them to buy more shares to enable the bank expand its capital base. Mr Kwami Bempa Letsa, Head of the Financial Analysis Office of Rural Banks at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), commended the IMC for turning the fortunes of the bank around within a short period. He urged shareholders to show more interest in the development of the bank by maintaining accounts in its branches and monitoring its performance.
Mr Hygimus Zon, Head of Inspection and Audit Department of the ARB Apex Bank, cautioned the management and staff of the bank against complacency, pointing out that they could not have achieved much without sacrifice. He said the computerization of rural banks was ongoing and soon all rural banks in the country would be networked to make them more customer-friendly and competitive. The management of the bank later donated assorted items including medical equipment, exercise books and bed nets valued at 34 million cedis to health and educational institutions within its catchment area. 28 Nov.05