Amenfiman Rural Bank Limited at Wassa Akropong in the Wassa Amenfi East district of the Western North Region has posted yet another very impressive operational performance in the 2019 year under review.
The board’s strategy to diversify the bank’s income sources and grow its non-funded income streams indeed yielded good dividend and has contributed to the improvement in earnings in 2019, with all the newly-opened branches making good progress and proﬁt.
In spite of the banking crisis that hit the industry in the 2019 year under review, the bank posted a net profit of approximately GH¢5.8million in 2019 as against GH¢4.1milliom in the previous year – representing a remarkable growth of 42%. With this level of performance, the board is very conﬁdent the bank will continue to operate proﬁtably in the year 2020 and beyond despite the impact of coronavirus on businesses globally.
The bank recorded signiﬁcant growth in deposits and new accounts during the year under review, in spite of the banking crisis that affected customer conﬁdence during the year. Total deposits grew from GH¢189.2million in 2018 to GH¢254.6million in 2019, representing 34.6%. This demonstrated customer conﬁdence and loyalty in the Amenﬁman brand.
Thus, the board has pledged to continue working with management to sustain these gains which have been very consistent over the years. As the bank introduces more innovation and technology and improves efﬁciency and service delivery, the board and management are conﬁdent of even greater performances in the years ahead.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Toni Aubynn announced these at the bank’s 36th Annual General Meeting of shareholders held last Saturday in the Assembly Hall of the Amenfiman Senior High School at Wassa Akropong.
According to him, the macro economy is still recovering from shocks in the ﬁnancial sector clean-up that led to the collapse and revocation of licences from over 487 ﬁnancial institutions, and the consequential effect from locked up funds of both individual and institutional clients.
The country saw some marginal improvements in major macro-economy indicators over 2018 ﬁgures – with exception of the cedi, which deteriorated signiﬁcantly by 18% as against 8% in 2018. In 2019, the cedi exchange rate against the dollar closed with GH¢5.7 as against GH¢4.83 in 2018.
The inﬂation rate continued its downward trend in the single digit category, from 9.4% in 2018 to 7.9% in 2019. In line with this trend, the Bank of Ghana revised its policy rate from 17% in 2018 to 16% in 2019. The GDP growth for the same period was marginal, from 6.3% in 2018 to 6.5% in 2019.
In spite of the challenges mentioned above, the bank performed remarkably well during the year under review as indicated in the table below.
|Proﬁt After Taxation||5,843,592.00||4,138,729.00||42%|
|Cash and Bank Balances||43,143,611.00||32,563,285.00||32.50%|
The bank’s stated capital exceeded the regulatory requirement at end of the year 2019. Indeed, the bank recorded a total capital of GH¢6.03million as compared to GH¢3.07million in 2018, representing a growth of 96.4%. This was made possible by the decision of shareholders to recapitalise with 2018 dividends declared, and also subscription of the bonus issue.
A total of GH¢2.65million was realised from the recapitalisation arrangement. In all, a total of GH¢2.97million was added to the bank’s stated capital. This meant the bank had met and exceeded the current capital requirement of the Bank of Ghana by more than 600%, and in addition built up an appreciable amount of reserves in excess of GH¢30million – making the bank highly solvent.
The Board has over the years proposed and actually paid an average dividend of 30% annually on shares. Unfortunately, due to the estimated impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on banks in general, the Bank of Ghana directed all banks and deposit-taking institutions not to declare dividends for the ﬁnancial 2019. In complying with the Bank of Ghana directive, the Board of Directors did not propose dividend this year.
Meanwhile, the board has assured shareholders that effective measures will be put in place to pay good dividends when the ban on declaring dividends is lifted.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Amenfiman Rural Bank continues to initiate and support projects under its corporate social responsibility programmes, with the aim of giving back to society. During the year, the bank allocated a total of GH¢2.036 million toward its CSR projects. Out of this amount, a seed money of GH¢1.2million has been disbursed to the Infrastructure Committee of Amenﬁ State University College toward construction of the proposed project, the contract has since been awarded, and the contractor is on site.
In addition, the bank constructed 14 mechanised boreholes in various communities for the good people of Wasa Amenﬁ during the pandemic, and also provided street-lights to a number of communities as part of the lighting Amenﬁ project. The bank has also constructed a laundry and stores for the Wasa Akropong Government Hospital and provided ﬁnancial support for various communities. The bank also undertook various projects in the areas of health, and education.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Dr. Alex Asmah, in an interview said the bank will continue to play a signiﬁcant role in government’s ﬁnancial inclusion agenda – and is poised to even to do more as it prepares to launch its agency banking and KYC lite platform.
According to him, the bank will continue to see its strength in the area of managing credit needs for small and medium enterprises as well as continuing to improve upon the support it offers to this sector of the economy.
Dr. Asmah reiterated the bank will continue giving support to the communities in which it operates, and to strengthen their livelihoods so that they will continue to be in business to do business with the bank.