Derma Area Rural Bank holds Annual General Meeting

The ARP Apex Bank Limited will soon support Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) in the country to engage young university and polytechnic graduates to improve their human resource capacities.

Mr Eric Osei-Bonsu, Managing Director said Apex Bank would be responsible for the payment of salaries for the initial period of attachment and training of the graduates who should preferably be citizens or residents within the catchment areas of the RCBs.

Mr Osei-Bonsu made this known in a speech read on his behalf at the 24th Annual General Meeting of Derma Area Rural Bank at Derma in Tano South District of Brong Ahafo Region.

He said the full details of the programme would be communicated to the RCBs in due course and advised the rural banks to take advantage of the opportunity to enhance their human resource capacities.

Mr Osei-Bonsu explained that the countrywide computerisation and networking of RCBs started under the Rural Financial Services Project (RFSP) and is being continued under the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) project.

Although MiDA is sponsoring the initial infrastructural development, RCBs will have to brace themselves to meet the maintenance cost of the Information Communication and Technology infrastructure in terms of software maintenance costs, repairs, depreciation, upgrade and replacement, he said.

Mr Osei-Bonsu said it is the objective of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to strengthen the institutional framework of the primary dealer system and the overall debt markets.

To this end, the BOG has established a new primary dealership that started in April this year.

Mr Osei-Bonsu explained that financial institutions that wished to be primary dealers applied and went through the vigorous selection processes.

He said at the end of the processes, the number of primary dealers was reduced from 36 to 15, indicating that the ARP Apex Bank was selected as one of the 15 authorised primary dealers of the BoG.

“The implication is that the ARP Apex Bank would continue to represent the interest of RCBs on the investment market in government securities and it is envisaged that a vibrant secondary market in government securities would be developed and Apex Bank would facilitate the participation of RCBs on the market”, he said.

Primary dealers, Mr Osei-Bonsu noted, are institutions authorised by the BoG and are therefore eligible and responsible to participate in the wholesale auctions conducted by the central bank on behalf of the government and through whom the bank distributes the securities it issues for itself and for the government.

All these interventions, he said, were aimed at improving institutional and operational capacity of RCBs to make them more competitive and expressed the hope that the Derma Area Rural Bank would avail itself of such interventions and opportunities to strengthen its competitive advantage.

Mr. Osei-Bonsu commended management and board of the bank for their remarkable performances over the years and urged them to strive hard to position the bank to meet not only the emerging competition but also to take advantage of the enormous business in the area to drive the economy.

Mr George Amanor Kyeremeh, Chairman of Board of Directors of the Bank, observed that the government’s policy of keeping the inflation regime in single digit brought a lot of challenges to the banking industry.

He said the BOG prime rate was kept low throughout the banks year under review and that investment income of the bank could not grow as much as expected as a result of the drop in the Treasury bill rates.

Mr Amanor said, the prudent measures put up by the board and management team pushed the bank’s performance far above average to overcome such challenges.

He disclosed that the bank’s deposits grew by 84.05 per cent from GHȼ 2,218,434.39 in 2009 to GHȼ 4,082,954.81 in 2010 whilst its investment for the period under review totalled GHȼ 1,501,107.66 as against GHȼ 903,756.42 in 2009, representing an upward increase of 66.7 per cent.

Mr Amanor said total assets jumped from GHȼ 2,563,602.25 in 2009 to GHȼ 4,670,110.67 in 2010, an increase of 82.17 per cent whilst shareholders’ fund rose from GHȼ 152,483.17 to GHȼ 170,972.47, an increase of 12.13 per cent.

Total loans and advances went up from GHȼ 1,198.747.51 to GHȼ 2,174,617.41,  an increase of 81.4 per cent for the period under review, while  pre-tax profit of the bank decreased by 50.1 per cent from GHȼ 175,241.92 in 2009 to GHȼ 87,823.43 in 2010.

Mr Amanor said the net worth of the bank saw a tremendous increase from GHȼ 243,432.86 in 2009 to GHȼ 342,830.56 in 2010.

He explained that 90 per cent of the bank’s loans were advanced to operatives in the rural economy, people who live and work in the rural areas.

Mr Amanor said the bank’s computerisation programme is on course and it would be hooked to the internet by the end of the year, adding that all the technical infrastructure and equipment had been installed and ready for takeoff.

Source: GNA

1 Comment
  1. Anonymous says

    The computerised system Mr manor brought up will enhance the growth of the bank. More grease to your elbow Dady

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