Juaben Rural Bank Limited at Juaben in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality of Ashanti Region has recorded yet another impressive operational performance and growth in the 2017 year under review.
The bank, after successfully piloting its electronic banking product Juaben Blue Wallet, is set to roll-out the service fully as one of its flagship products.
The new service will afford clients opportunity to transact business with the bank from the comfort of their homes via mobile phones. The e-susu product has also taken off, and this product enables susu customers to receive instant messages after depositing with the bank’s sales executives.
The bank has bagged a pre-tax profit of approximately GH¢3.2million for the 2017 year under review, representing 21.48% growth of about GH¢2.6million over that recorded in the previous year.
The bank’s total deposits increased from about GH¢53million in 2016 to a little over GH¢66.8million in 2017, representing a remarkable growth of 25.95%. This was the result of hard work by staff and the mobilisation drive pursued by staff and management.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Lawyer Kwabena Asante Krobea – a veteran legal practitioner, announced these and more at the bank’s 33rd Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting held recently at Juaben in Ashanti.
According to him, Ghana’s macroeconomic performance improved in 2017 after a difficult 2016. The country’s economy expanded for the fifth successive quarter in 2017, at a rate almost double that of 2016 according to a World Bank report released on 5th March, 2018.
GDP grew from the 2016 figure of 3.6% to 7.9% in the year 2017, and this growth is expected to stay at that elevated level through 2018. The Bank of Ghana’s monetary policy rate remained unchanged at 20% in December 2017, and the Inflation rate moderated to 11.8% in December 2017 from 15.4% in December 2016.
Government was able to normalise the power situation in the country, thereby engineering a revival of Ghanaian industries and engendering growth in the economy.
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 by the table below.
|Loans and Advances||35,155,423.00||31,292,666.00||12.34%|
|Paid Up Capital||2,281,269.00||2,108,078.00||8.22%|
|Net Operating profit before taxation||3,204,140.00||2,637,491.00||21.48%|
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¢0.06 per share totalling GH¢685,660.08 as mandated by Section 73 of the Companies Code of 1963, Act 179, representing 26.07% profit after tax.
The Bank’s Paid-up Capital increased from a little over GH¢2.1million as at the end of the previous year to approximately GH¢2.2million in the 2017 reviewed year. Meanwhile, the board chairman has encouraged shareholders to increase their shareholding with the bank. He further appealed for non-shareholders to come and acquire shares in the bank for good returns on their investment.
The bank continues to offer assistance to communities and institutions within its catchment areas in terms of community development projects and financial support, which has so far amounted to GH¢210,173. This comprises the bank’s scholarship package for wards of shareholders who are brilliant but needy, and the 2017 budget for construction of an X-Ray building among other donations in 2017 alone.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Noble Kwabena Opoku Agyei, in an interview with Business & Financial Times said the bank’s business focus in 2018 is on driving growth, innovations, efficiency and service as the main pillars in achieving profitability.
Mr. Agyei-Poku is of the view that the rural banking industry has a purpose for which they were established, and Juaben Rural Bank will not move away from its core objectives of ensuring that the communities in which the bank operates see the kind of development they desire to have.
“We have the expertise in managing small businesses and petty-trading, and that has been our primary focus as a rural bank. When development occurs at the grassroot level it becomes a clear indication that the country’s future economic outlook is brighter,” he stressed.
According to him, the bank will not relent in its efforts to remain innovative in its products development agenda, which will be tailor-made so that it continues to be relevant – particularly to the communities in which it operates.
The CEO of the bank also emphasised that making enough profit and paying good dividend to shareholders is not the only primary focus of the bank, as it is also very committed to its corporate social responsibility activities.