Lower Pra Rural Bank Limited at Shama District in the Western Region made a sterling performance during the year under review.
The bank’s profit after tax grew from GHc 920,577.00 in 2018 to GHc1, 737,789.00 in 2019, representing a growth of 89%.
Profit before tax rose to 73% from GHc1,158,431.00 in 2018 to GHc2,005,384.00 in 2019.
Total income also increased from GHc28,254,315.00 in 2018 to GHc32,731,1558.18 in 2019, showing an increase of 16%. And the bank’s deposits grew from GHc84,369,578.00 in 2018 to GH96,822,527.00 in 2019 with15% increase.
The bank’s total assets grew by 13% from GH98, 152,150.00 in 2018 to GHc109, 824, 486, 00 in 2019. The growth in the total assets conforms to the bank’s sustainable growth rate policy.
Mr. Francis Mensah, Board Chairman of Lower Pra Rural Bank Limited said these at the 32nd Annual General Meeting of the bank at Shama.
According to him, the bank introduced the traditional susu scheme to assist people living within the catchment area to formalise their savings culture.
“This will enable them solicit for loans at reasonable interest rate; the total loans for susu contributors amounted to GHc6,393,100.00 and savings totalled GHc17,251,518.00 as at December 31 2019” he said.
He pointed out that susu has become a major product and formed 35% of the bank’s customer base at the end of the year.
As part of the bank’s vision to promote community development, contributions amounting to GHc618,041.00 were made in 2019 to support the developmental activities in the areas of education, health, community initiated projects, among others.
“The advances outstanding under our lending programme in 2019 totalled GHc56.1m as against GHc45.3 in 2018 representing an increase of 23.84%; the previous year saw an increase of 19.53%”, Mr. Mensah added.
He stated that loan recovery appeared to remain a problem even though loan applications were better appraised; COVID 19 has compounded the problem of overdue loans.
He said the bank would vigorously pursue recalcitrant loan defaulters using all the necessary measures including court action to recover overdue loans.
Lucy Quansah, Western Regional Manager of ARB Apex Bank noted that Mobile Money provided by major telecommunication companies and Financial Technology (FINTECH) firms have become major competitor to the banks.
“They have advantages they offer their customers and these are; Momo services are relatively cheaper, requirement are relatively less cumbersome, the set up for a Momo operator is less than one percent of the capital outlay required to set up a brick and motar bank branch as well as Momo services are often real time, giving the customer real convenience and comfort” she added.
She commended the shareholders, board and management, staff and customers of the bank for the gains made even in the face of challenges facing the world at large and the financial sector in particular.
“Let us remain resolute and focused because I believe that with the completion of the banking sector clean-up, there are better days ahead for customers of Rural and Community Banks”, she said.
Mr. Isaac Kwamina Afful, Chief Executive Officer of the bank announced that “Our bank, has been nominated as the best Rural Bank in the Western Region of Ghana”.