Mr Timothy Osam Duodu, Chairman of the board of directors of the bank, made this known at the 34th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the shareholders at Odoben in the Asikuma-Odoben- Brakwa District of the Central Region recently.
The Chairman said the bank’s total deposits showed an appreciable increase from GH¢3,254,154 in 2009 to GH¢4,503,815 in 2010.
Mr Osam Duodu said the total assets of the bank also increased from GH¢3,837,228 in 2009 to GH¢5,079,237 in 2010, saying cash balances, government securities, loans and others also increased.
The bank also disbursed GH¢1,389,350 in 2010 as against GH¢137,050 to women groups under its micro-finance program for women in development to expand their businesses.
The Board Chairman said due to prudential business plan and capacity building, the women groups had increased from 45 in 2009 to 107 in 2010. He therefore urged the women to purchase more shares in the bank.
He said the bank had extended its branches to five districts and Municipal Assemblies in its catchment area to mobilize more equities to improve its deposits.
Loans and Advances totaled GH¢2,741,915 in 2010 as against GH¢2,395,017 in 2009.
In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Eric Osei Bonsu, Managing Director (MD) of the ARB Apex Bank, urged rural and community banks to develop and create a unique marketing niche to strengthen their microfinance scheme.
The MD said banking business had become competitive and risky due to the development of Information Communication and Technology (ICT).
Mr Osei Bonsu called on the board and management of rural and community banks to initiate move to offer on-the-job training to staff to develop skills and competencies.
The MD said 80 rural banks with 451 branches and agencies had been automated under the ARB Apex Bank’s computerization programme with assistance from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).
Mr Osei Bonsu cautioned management and staff of rural banks to be vigilant and ensure that fraudsters did not take advantage of the new system of cheques clearing to defraud their banks.
The MD stressed that Apex bank with support from development partners would establish a unit to manage share registration issues for rural banks.