Atiwa Rural Bank makes progress

The Atiwa Rural Bank at Kwabeng, made a net profit after tax of GH¢68,687.00 for the 2010 financial year as against GH¢40,702.00 recorded in 2009.

Dr Samuel Obeng Apori, Chairman of the Board of Directors, announced this at the 23rd Annual General Meeting (AGM), of the bank at Kwabeng on Saturday.

He said deposit mobilization increased from GH¢5,163,556.00 in 2009 to GH¢5,690,941.00 in the year under review, representing 10 percent increase.

Dr Apori said the board had recommended a dividend of GH¢0.0033 per share amounting to GH¢36,450.00 out of the net profit.

He announced strategies being implemented to improve their output and to reclaim their position as one of the leading rural banks in the Eastern Region to include documentation on all loan defaulters.

“Debt collection has been contracted to debt collection agency on no collection no payment basis so as to retrieve our monies at no cost to Atiwa Rural Bank”.

He indicated that a procurement Committee had been formed to oversee all procurement of goods and services for the bank adding that the Audit Department had been improved to ensure adequate controls of the operations of the bank.

“There is improved credit/loan management so as to reduce provisions for bad debt and doubtful debts and increase financial resources available for credit delivery”.

Dr Apori said the bank’s operation was to be fully automated and interconnected per schedule of the ARB Apex Bank policy under the ongoing Ghana Rural Banks Interconnectivity and Computerization Project (GRBCIP), which might lead to restructuring of staff.

He indicated that all Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructures for the bank to join the GRBCIP programme had been procured adding that the staff would be retrained to enable them to become fully literate, efficient and effective in the use and maintenance of ICT infrastructure and software.

“The bank shall make adequate investments in infrastructure and human resources to enable it to participate fully in the use of e-zwich, cheque code line clearing (CCC), automated clearing house operations (ACH) and other card products as banking operations continue to transform the economy”.

Mr Eric Osei-Bonsu, Managing Director, ARB Apex Bank Limited, in a speech read on his behalf, challenged rural banks to do more by way of organizational restructuring to be able to meet the challenges of the competitive business environment.

He advised rural banks to ensure that their workforce is well-trained and equipped with skills and competencies to confront the challenges of modern day banking.

Mr Osei-Bonsu urged rural banks to consider forming co-operative mergers as a solution to their survival in the face of the challenging and competitive landscape of the banking industry.

He said though some banks would not like the idea of co-operative mergers, the ARB Apex Bank would continue to urge all stakeholders of rural banks to consider the idea seriously, as it was the better of the two possibilities.

The possibilities, he noted, were a merged rural bank which continues to provide financial services in a wider catchment area, and a stand-alone bank, which would finally liquidate as a result of its failure to raise the required minimum capital.

Source: GNA

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