ARB Apex Bank Acting Managing Director Mr. Alex Kwasi Awuah called on rural communities to pay more attention to the activities of Rural and Community Banks (RCBs).
He said that the impact of the BCRs on rural development has been significant and therefore it is important that community members give them the support they need to do more.
Mr. Awuah made the appeal at the 22nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Ahafo Community Bank in Kukuom in the southern district of Asunafo last Saturday.
While commending the Ahafo Community Bank for the modest gains made despite the challenges posed to the banking sector by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Mr. Awuah urged all stakeholders to be vigilant to ensure that the bank continues to be well managed.
He called on the board of directors, workers and shareholders to protect the interests of the bank in order to avoid liquidation.
Presenting the bank’s operating results for the past fiscal year, the Chairman of the Board, Rev. Kofi Sakyi, said that at the end of the fiscal year, the bank had increased its total deposits by 30% from GH ¢ 12,421,428 in 2019 to GH ¢ 16,163,690 in 2020, while assets increased by 22.66%, from GH ¢ 14,985,241 in 2019 to GH ¢ 18,380,479 in 2020.
Primary reserves were 10.41 percent, which was above the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG) benchmark of eight percent.
In addition, the secondary reserve was 44.72% in 2020, compared to 30% for the central bank.
The bank was unable to declare a dividend due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The chairman of the board said that total investment in treasury bills and other short-term investments increased by 90.24%, from GH ¢ 3,158,500 in 2019 to GH ¢ 6,008,500 in 2020 .
All was not rosy as Reverend Sakyi said the bank had encountered difficulties due to reforms undertaken by the central bank.
According to him, most people misunderstood the reforms that created panic withdrawals and affected deposit mobilization.
In addition, he said the COVID-19 pandemic has also affected the bank’s operations.
As a result, there have been some adjustments to deal with eventualities.
Reverend Sakyi assured that the board, management and staff will work together to do their best to meet the challenges facing the bank.
Among the strategies to overcome the challenges were capacity building, technological advancement and adaptation of best practices.
Commitment to serve
For his part, the general manager of the bank, Mr. Pobi Antwi Donkor, said that the bank is committed to effectively serving people in its area of activity with the utmost seriousness.
He called on the population to use the services of the bank.