THE Juaben Rural Bank made a significant stride in its operations last year, posting a profit of GH¢354,049.
The amount, representing a 15.69 per cent increase over the previous year’s profit, was achieved in spite of stiff competition from other commercial banks, as well as various economic challenges the country was going through.
Mr Kwabena Asante-Krobea, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, who made this known at the 22nd annual general meeting(AGM) of the bank at Juaben in the Ashanti Region over the weekend, said the performance of the bank during the period under review accounted for its listing into the Ghana Club 100.
Mr Asante-Krobea said the customer base of the bank grew from GH¢52,806 in 2007 to GH¢60,189 in 2009.
The board chairman stated further that the bank had been very supportive of the agriculture and cottage industry sectors as the sectors were very important in the development of rural areas.
Mr Asante-Krobea said plans were far advanced for the bank to open two more branches at Fumesua and Atimatim, near Kumasi.
On corporate social responsibility, the board chairman said various sponsorship packages were given to the Kwabre District Education Office, the Mampong Catholic Diocese and the Ejisu-Juaben Municipal Education Office among other beneficiaries.
He called on customers to continue to purchase shares in the bank because that was the surest way of continuously giving the bank a sound footing in its operations.
He said the future of the bank looked even brighter because as at June 2009, the profit of the bank stood at GH¢360,923, which was more than the profit for the entire 2008 fiscal year, he stated.
The meeting approved a dividend totalling GH¢74,666.42 to be paid to shareholders.
The Deputy Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, Mr Duke Osam-Duodu, commended the board, management and staff of the bank for their sterling performance, which saw the bank listed as one of the best 13 rural banks in the country.
He noted that the performance of most rural banks in the country had been very impressive, and this had gone a long way to improve their local economies and called for mergers of some of the rural banks to enable them to meet the growing challenges in the banking sector.