THE Juaben Rural Bank in the Ashanti Region, has maintained its profitable growth, posting a profit before tax of GH¢306,017.51 in the 2007 financial year.
This represented an increase of 61.05 per cent over the previous year's profit of GH¢190,016.
The Board Chairman of the bank, Mr Kwabena Asante, made this known in his report to shareholders at the bank's 23rd annual general meeting at Juaben at the weekend.
Other operational areas that the bank excelled included deposits, which jumped from GH¢5,348,891 in 2006 to GH¢7,306,640 in 2007; loans and advances from GH¢2,952,275 to GH¢3,949,574; investments, from GH¢1,704,599 to GH¢2,602,099; and total assets increased from GH¢6,740,797 to GH¢8,639,118, during the period under review.
Mr Asante said the bank also performed creditably in the financing of agriculture, cottage industry, trading, transport and micro finance, among others.
The board chairman stated that the bank continued to offer assistance to communities and institutions within its catchment area and that a total of GH¢10,567 was spent in that direction.
As part of efforts to boost the savings mobilisation drive of the bank, it introduced Saturday banking in three of its agencies: Roman Hill and Magazine New Road, both in Kumasi, and Ejisu.
The Kumasi Branch Manager of the ARB Apex Bank, Mr Laud A. Ghansah, commended the Juaben Bank for its giant strides, saying it was one of the 26 rural and community banks out of the 130 which had been able to meet the Bank of Ghana's minimum capital requirement of GH¢150,000
He, however, cautioned the bank not to be complacent but to work hard in the years ahead.
Mr Ghansah said in spite of this achievement, rural banks still had a lot to do by way of organisational restructuring, effective credit administration, cost control and reduction in order to meet the challenges of the competitive business environment.
He stressed the need for the rural and community banks to invest in training programmes that would help their staff improve their skills and services.