ARB Apex Bank Limited has put up an impressive performance by recording satisfactory growth in its total operating income of 17% – from GH¢55.5million in 2018 to GH¢64.96million in the 2019 year under review; although falling interest rates have remained a burden on the Bank’s profitability.
Assets of the Bank recorded significant growth of over 47%, from GH¢394.5million in 2018 to GH¢582.4million in 2019.
This sharp growth was mainly due to growth in deposits and revaluation of the head office building, which value went up by over GH¢23.7million. Deposits also grew by 43% from GH¢341.2million in 2018 to GH¢488.9million in 2019.
There was a corresponding growth of 64% in loans and advances, rising from GH¢37.8million in 2018 to GH¢62.1million in 2019 due to the extension of more credit and liquidity support to RCBs for on-lending to their customers.
Profit before tax also recorded a moderate growth of 10%, from GH¢0.91million in the previous year to GH¢1.0million.
These and more were announced at the virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Bank, held recently from the head office.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Toni Aubynn, in an address encouraged shareholders of Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) which have not as yet met the new Regulatory Minimum Capital of GH¢1million to work harder to shore-up their capital reserves.
Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, Mr. Kojo Mattah, said management is pushing much harder to complete all preparatory work to launch the much-awaited World Bank-funded Agency Banking, which is in three phases. Phase-one is the Data Centre upgrade, for which a contract has already been awarded. The second phase involves procurement ofequipment that has gone through the various stages; and he assured all shareholders converged virtually that the project will culminate in the phase-three, which is the launch before end of 2020.
Farewell to previous directors
Mr. Mattah took the opportunity to thank the previous Board for the immense leadership and support they provided for the Bank. Their support for the many initiatives undertaken by the bank included the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) project, the completion of an ultra-modern office building complex at Koforidua to house the Bank’s Eastern Regional Office, and the Association of Rural Banks. This, the MD believes, will go a long way in reducing rental costs of the Bank.
He commended the immediate past Directors for pushing Management very hard to complete the Eastern Region project within one year.
Mr. Mattah said the Bank was unable to commission the office as they were all taken unawares by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. He is however confident that as soon as things normalise and the ban on large gatherings is lifted, he will be happy to invite the former Directors to also come and be part of the grand opening of the history they have helped to write in the annals of ARB Apex Bank and rural banking in general.
The AGM brought together directors, shareholders as well as shareholders’ representatives of the Bank on a virtual platform. Board members of the ARB Apex Bank converged at the head office, while other participants joined the meeting through a virtual link – a first in the history of the Bank.
ARB Apex Bank is the ‘mini’ central bank of the RCBs in Ghana. It was granted a banking licence in June 2001 and admitted to the Bank of Ghana’s Clearing House in August 2001.
There are more than 144 RCBs and over 800 branches spread across all 16 regions of the country, making ARB Apex Bank and the RCBs the largest network of banks in Ghana. The RCBs are the main shareholders of ARB Apex Bank.