Juaben Rural Bank to leverage ICT for efficiency & growth

The Board Chairman, Lawyer Kwabena Asante Krobea (middle), flanked by the General Manager, Mr. Kwabena Agyei-Poku (right) and Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso 1 - 1st Vice Chairman (left)

Juaben Rural Bank Limited at Juaben in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality of Ashanti Region has recorded  an impressive operational performance in the 2016 year under review.

The Board and Management of the bank consider that the current banking environment is becoming more competitive and aggressive than before, and also becoming more ICT-based – and consequently sees the increasing evolvement of e-banking.

As has become the practice, the bank is leveraging information technology and has introduced several variants of traditional products and new e-based services, tailor-made to the diversified needs of its customers.

Technology services like ATM cards, Internet banking, mobile banking etc. are being pursued vigorously by the bank.  It is the hope of management and the board that when preparatory work is completed with these technological improvements, the bank is likely to transform customers’ banking experience from branch banking to anytime, anywhere banking.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Lawyer Kwabena Asante Krobea – a veteran legal practitioner, announced these and more at the bank’s 32nd Annual General shareholders’ meeting held recently at Juaben in Ashanti.

According to him, the year 2016 was a challenging one for the Ghanaian Economy.  Growth in the Ghanaian economy remained below 4% for the second consecutive year, along with subdued investment activity and consumer demand. Ghana’s Domestic product grew by 0.5% from a figure of 3.4% in 2015 to 3.9%.  Growth was moderate due to a slowdown in the industry and services sectors, partly due to the prolonged energy crisis.

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The year witnessed high inflation and interest rates; the country’s macroeconomic indicators were unfavourable to businesses, lending themselves to astronomic cost of doing business resulting in only marginal returns.  Consequently, the rising cost of living compelled consumers to be very selective in the way they kept their excess funds with financial houses.  The year under review was challenging, with the macro-economic scenario not conducive.

The challenges and difficulties recounted above notwithstanding, the bank sustained its growth through an enduring commitment to Business Excellence while improving quality and customer delivery models.  The Board of Directors was resilient and came up with innovative policies which management and general staff did their best to implement.   These resulted in yet another impressive performance, reflecting in all the parameters as indicated in the table.

ITEMS YEAR 2015

(GH₡)

YEAR 2016

(GH₡)

CHANGE

%

Deposits

 

Loans and Advances

 

Investments

 

Total Assets

 

Paid- Up Capital

 

Gross Income

 

Profit Before Tax

 

Assessment Tax

 

Add Tax Credit

 

Profit After Tax

42,961,251.00

 

27,986,229.00

 

14,850,000.00

 

56,058,410.00

 

1,993,777.00

 

11,132,411.00

 

2,071,756.00

 

229,759.00

 

5,939.00

 

1,847,936.00

53,085,104.00

 

31,292,666.00

 

21,750,000.00

 

71,260,294.00

 

2,108,078.00

 

13,624,844.00

 

2,637,491.00

 

751,347.00

 

269,293.00

 

2,155,437.00

23.57%

 

11.81%

 

46.46%

 

27.12%

 

5.73%

 

22.39%

 

27.31%

 

227.01%

 

 

 

 

16.64%

In line with the Board of Directors’ decision to ensure that the financial returns to shareholders of the bank continue to grow, the Board has proposed a dividend payment of GH¢0.05 per share totalling GH¢561,929 as mandated by Section 73 of the Companies Code of 1963, Act179; representing 26.07% profit after tax.

The bank’s stated capital increased from GH¢1,993,777 as at the end of the previous year to GH¢2,108,078 – resulting in an increase of GH¢114,301 that represents 5.73%.

The bank continues to offer assistance to communities and institutions within its catchment areas, in terms of community development projects and financial support which amounted to GH¢76,830.

The major economic areas that benefitted include Education, Health, Sports and Recreation, Security, Financial Support toward Farmers’ Day celebrations, and scholarship awards to needy but brilliant students who are resident in or hail from the bank’s catchment areas.

The bank’s General Manager, Mr. Kwabena Agyei-Poku, in an interview said its business focus in 2017 is on driving growth, innovations, efficiency and service as the main pillars in achieving profitability.

He emphasised that to continue on the path of growth, the board and management will be coming up with human resource policies and practices which focus on attracting, motivating and retaining qualified as well as skilled manpower.  With these objectives, he said, steps are being taken to improve Human Capital efficiency.

 

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