The Avenor Rural Bank, headquartered at Akatsi, has met its two-pronged 2008 strategic goals of growth and stabilization, with profit after tax growing from GH¢57.094 in 2007 to GH¢67, 974, a rise of 19.05 percent.
Total assets grew from GH¢1,587,793 in 2007 to GH¢1,949, 892 in 2008, representing 23.25 percent and shareholders’ funds grew from GH¢175, 931 in 2007 to GH¢250,581 in 2008, a 42.43 percent rise.
Mr Peter M. Samlafo, the board chairman said at the 26th Annual General Meeting of the Bank, on Saturday, at Akatsi, that the gains were in spite of the harsh world economic indicators which affected the fortunes of all businesses.
He said customer deposits grew from GH¢1,026.999 in 2007 to GH¢1, 252, 426 in 2008, a rise of 18.04 per cent.
Mr Samlafo said stated capital, however, grew by a smaller margin from GH¢61,082 in 2007 to GH¢67,768 in 2008.
He described that performance as healthy but not good enough, put against the new capitalization requirement imposed by the Bank of Ghana on rural banks.
Mr Samlafo said paying of dividends, therefore, would be “infringing the regulations of our regulatory and controlling authority.”
On business development, he said, the bank had struck a deal with the Millennium Development Authority MiDA to manage some of its credit lines and also intensified its own micro-finance activities.
Mr Curtis Brantuo, Head, Legal Department of the ARB Apex Bank, urged the management of the Bank to raise capital to levels required by the Bank of Ghana or face liquidation.
He said the improving performance of rural banks was an indication of increasing public confidence in them.
Mr Brantuo, however, called on rural banks to overhaul services to suit customer needs to remain in business.