Mr Emmanuel Asiedu-Mante, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) on Saturday said the bank was fully committed to the viability and sustainability of the banking system in the country therefore; it would ensure that banks maintained adequate capital; adopt good credit and liquidity management practices.
He said the new Banking Act enacted in 2004 required banks to maintain a minimum Capital Adequacy Ratio of 10 per cent instead of the six per cent they previously maintained.
"One of the objectives of the new law is to position banks to fit into the global arena of financial intermediation," He added. Mr Asiedu-Mante was addressing the 17th Annual General Meeting of Akim Bosome Rural Bank at Akyem Swedru.
A new 1.6 billion cedis office for the bank was also inaugurated. The First Deputy Governor of BoG, said in view of the promulgation of the new Banking Act, it had organised series of seminars for management and personnel of rural banks to share ideas on the provisions in the Act and up-date them on the accompanying guidelines, accounting and audit manuals.
He explained that the seminars were to ensure uniformity in the analysis and presentation of data adding, "With the work done so far, rural banks are well equipped to meet the new demands of the Act." Mr Asiedu-Mante said human resource capacity building was a key factor for the growth and sustenance of every institution and therefore; urged management of the bank to plan adequately to meet the training needs of their staff by drawing training programmes that would meet peculiar needs of the bank.
Mr Asiedu-Mante said to enhance customer satisfaction and improve on services rendered by the banks; BoG had established Consumer Complaints Unit in the Banking Supervision Department where customers' complaints and grievances were independently investigated and their concerns addressed.
Mr Kwaku Owusu-Baah, Chairman of the Board of Directors in his report, said the bank made a net profit before tax of 1.2 billion cedis in 2005 as against 874 million cedis in 2004.
He said the bank's assets position also improved from 14.6 billion cedis in 2004 to 16.5 billion cedis in 2005, while loans and advances to customers increased from 2.9 billion cedis in 2004 to 4.2 billion cedis in 2005 with the agricultural sector getting 33.3 per cent of the loans as against 22 per cent in 2004.
Mr Owusu-Baah said the Board proposed to pay a dividend of 150 cedis per share for the year under review as against 50 cedis per share in 2004.
On the bank's social responsibility, he said it sponsored six students in senior secondary schools last year with three of them having qualified to enter the universities this academic year. The bank also spent five million cedis to provide potable water to the people of Boso Villa in the Birim North District. Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, commended the bank on its achievements and advised the Board, management and staff not to rest on their oars. Mr E. K. Kwapong, Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank Limited, in an address read on his behalf, urged management of the bank to explore other avenues to increase income with the slide in interest rates on Treasury Bills.