Total assets of the country’s 139 rural and communities banks (RCBs) shot up to GHȼ2.4 billion in October, this year, representing a 17.8 per cent growth over the previous year’s figure of GHȼ1.98 billion.
Mr. Raymond Amanfu, Head, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department, Bank of Ghana (BoG), who announced this said these were funded mainly by deposits, borrowings and reserves.
He put the RCB sub-sector’s contribution to the total assets of the banking industry at 3.4 per cent.
He was addressing the 31st annual general meeting of the Atwima Mponua Rural Bank Limited at Toase.
Mr. Amanfu while saluting the banks for their tremendous contribution to the economic development of the nation through their intermediation activities, expressed discomfort with the high ratio of their non-performing loans.
This currently stands at 11.68 per cent, something he described “as quite worrying” and said that needed to be reduced.
He again raised concern about some major lapses that continued to occur in the operations of the RCBs despite several initiatives taken to address these.
He cited the opening of agencies without the BoG’s approval, especially in the urban centres, often leading to the use of depositors’ funds.
Added to this, he said, was the poor management systems arising from poor documentation appraisal and monitoring, which had resulted in the high non-performing ratio in many of the banks.
Mr. Amanfu again touched on the issue of directors granting credit to themselves at concessionary interest rate – a breach of the banking law, and he underlined the resolve of the BoG as regulator to make sure, all licensed institutions operated within the rules and laws governing their operations.
“We would not tolerate violations of the laws as offenders would be appropriately sanctioned.”
Mr. Benedict Kwasi Afrane, the Board Chairman, said despite the challenging business environment – inflation hitting 17 per cent and matters compounded by the energy crisis, the bank was able to achieve a 15.14 per cent growth.
Its deposits rose to GHȼ24,218,236.29 from the previous total of GHȼ21,034,044.56.
He said at the same time, loans and advances went up from GHȼ11,675,354.69 to GHȼ12,733,238.07.
There was also significant increase in its investments – from GHȼ5,449,387.66 to GHȼ8,309,387.66.
Mr. Afrane announced a profit before tax of GHȼ1,130,077.31 compared with the previous year’s figure of GHȼ1,000,344.35 on its operations during the period.