THE Association of Rural Banks (ARB) Apex Bank has adjudged the Amanano Rural Bank with its headquarters at Nyinahin as the best rural bank in the Ashanti Region for 2009.
The ARB Apex Bank’s Efficiency Monitoring Unit (EMU), which conducted the rankings using several indices, also placed Amanano as the seventh best rural bank in Ghana.
Disclosing these at the 23rd annual general meeting (AGM) of the bank at Bibiani in the Western Region last Saturday, the Board Chairman of the bank, Mr Isaac Kwasi Asante, said the bank was positioning itself to maintain a strong presence in the banking sector in the coming years.
For the first time, the bank moved its AGM from outside Nyinahin to Bibiani, in the West Region as part of the official opening of its new branch office there.
The board chairman stated that the outstanding performance of the bank also saw it placing 40th in the Ghana Club 100 awards for 2009.
Mr Asante spoke about the increased competition in the rural and community banking sector and urged the public to buy shares in the bank to help it maintain its strong showing in the industry.
The board chairman said the bank recorded a net profit of GH¢402,416 in the last financial year, an increase of 65 per cent over the 2008 figure of GH¢243,342.
He said the bank’s stated capital also increased from GH¢151,850 in 2008 to GH¢228,662 in 2009, while total assets grew from GH¢4,259,000 to GH¢6,734,000 within the same period.
Mr Asante further stated that total deposits and total investments also went up from GH¢2,475,000 to GH¢4,259,000 and GH¢1,842,000 to GH¢2,631,000, respectively.
He stressed the bank’s commitment to provide loans and advances to its customers.
Mr Asante said last year, loans and advances given out stood at GH¢2,370,000 compared to the GH¢1,469,000 granted the previous year.
He stated that the loans went to various sectors including transport, cottage industry, agriculture, trading, salaried and managed loans, as well as micro-finance.
The board chairman also spoke on the bank’s social responsibility and said it spent a total of GH¢7,913 on a number of development projects.
Among the beneficiaries were the Asanteman Senior High School in Kumasi, the Bibiani District Police Command, Nyinahin Police Station, Nyinahin Town Council, Bibiani-Anhwiaso Bekwai District Farmers and the National Sports Council.
Mr Asante said the bank had also established a scholarship scheme to support brilliant, needy children/wards of shareholders.
He said dividend payment totalling GH¢36,840 at GH¢0.15 per share was declared.
In a speech read on behalf of the Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, Mr Eric Osei-Bonsu by the Kumasi Branch Manager of Apex Bank, commended the board, management and staff of the bank for their outstanding performance and urged them to maintain the momentum and not be complacent.
He said rural banks still had a lot more to do by way of organisational and operational restructuring, especially in the area of migrating from manual operations to embrace information and communication technology.
Mr Osei-Bonsu, therefore, called on the banks to invest in those areas to make their operations attractive.
The Member of Parliament of Atwima Mponua, Mr Isaac Asiamah, said the development of rural banking was a signal of the trust the people had in the system.
He was, particularly, grateful to Amanano for its role in the development of its surrounding area.