Akuapem Rural Bank Limited at Mamfe in the Akuapem North Municipality in the Eastern Region has chalked forty years success in contributing to the economic growth of Ghana.
The Bank which is the twelfth rural bank to be established in Ghana and the third in the Eastern Region was inaugurated on 29th August 1980 by Dr Amon Nikoi, the then Governor of Bank of Ghana.
A small group of dedicated and selfless citizens of Akuapem decided to establish a bank owned and managed by the people of Akuapem to cater for the banking needs of small and medium-size enterprises on the Akuapem Ridge which has been a resounding success.
Akuapem at the time was one of the few places which was selected for the establishment of rural banks by the Central Bank. Mampong Akuapem was originally selected for the Bank to be based, but due to lack of accommodation, Mamfe was chosen to site the bank.
Founding members say the choice of Mamfe was perfect as it happened to be a junction town on the Accra – Koforidua trunk road. One Mr D.O. Ofosu gave out his property to be used as the banking premises for the business to begin.
Founders say they had challenges getting promoters at the time because of the problem of uncertainty as to the viability of such project since the rural banking idea was then in experimental stages.
Hon. Kwasi Akoto a former Member of Parliament in the Limann administration spearheaded the promotional drive to generate interest in the project. His leadership, was a dynamic one and with the assistance of other illustrious citizens like Dr (Mrs) Gloria Nikoi, Messrs Awuku Lokko, Emmanuel Asiedu Mante, E.M Gyasi, J.O. Mensah and D.O. Ofosu the Bank was inaugurated to commence operations.
At a durbar to climax the fortieth anniversary celebrations of the bank last Saturday, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr Ernest Kwamina Addison who was the special guest, reiterated that, as BoG seeks to improve the regulatory and operational prospects of rural and community banks, it must be admitted that a lot of progress had been made within the rural banking subsector of the banking industry.
From 30 rural banks in the 1980’s, the number has grown up to 145 of such institutions with a branch network of about 851. The increased number of rural banks has been accompanied by increased customer reach, technology deployment, as well as improved delivery of financial services within the local communities.
The Governor disclosed that as at the end of June 30, 2021, the overall profitability of the rural banking sector was positive, and the sector recorded an annual growth of 27.4 percent in total assets, which amounted to GH¢6.5 billion. Advances, deposits and investments also increased by 23.6, 31.2 and 50.1 percent, respectively. The sector’s non-performing loans ratio declined to 11.5 percent from 12.3 percent a year earlier, signalling an improvement in asset quality.
The Governor, therefore, expects that all rural and community banks would fully comply with the minimum capitalisation requirement of GH¢1million by the end of 2021 and maintain the increased capital unimpaired.
He further emphasized that developing a vibrant financial sector that is capable of harnessing financial resources available for growth and development requires the commitment of all key stakeholders.
He stressed that the Bank of Ghana will continue to pursue policies and programmes aimed at improving the operational environment to build customer confidence and ensure the stability and soundness of the financial sector.
He concluded by congratulating the Board and Management of Akuapem Rural Bank on their 40th anniversary celebration and encourage the board and management to keep the bank stable and strong to meet the financial needs of the Akuapem community.
Apex Bank EMU Report on Akuapem Rural Bank
The Ag. Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, Mr Alex Kwesi Awuah in an address put out some revealing and commendable statistics on the Akuapem Rural Bank According to data available at the Efficiency Monitoring Unit (EMU), which ranks RCBs according to selected key prudential benchmarks, in the 2018 financial year, Akuapem Rural Bank was ranked as the 10th Best Performing Bank out of 144 RCBs in the country and 3rd Best in the Eastern Region (in the strong category).
Secondly, in the 2019 financial year, the Bank was ranked 13th out 145 RCBs in the country as well as 4th among the 24 banks in the Eastern Region. Again, in 2020, the Bank ranked 8th nationally and placed 3rd in the Region and these positive developments should certainly be a trend that should comfort and encourage confidence in Shareholders, Customers, Management, employees and stakeholders of the Bank.
Another major area he emphasized is the declaration of profit and the distribution of dividend to Shareholders. It is worthy of note that, Akuapem Rural Bank consistently paid dividend to Shareholders every year from 2009 to 2018. It was only in 2019 and 2020, when the Bank of Ghana placed a general moratorium on the payment of dividends to Shareholders, due to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on all businesses in the country that the Bank did not pay dividends.
Current state of the Bank
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Kwame Gyeke-Amoako in his welcome address enumerated some statistics in the operational performance of Akuapem Rural Bank particularly in all indicators for the past five years.
In the past five years from 2016 to 2020, the Bank has grown its deposits from Gh¢39.93 million to Gh¢80.53 million an increase of 101.56%, Gross loans from Gh¢14.75 million to Gh¢20.30 million an increase of 37.66%, Shorts Term investments from Gh¢30.35 to Gh¢61.14% an increase of 101.48% , Total Assets has increased from Gh¢50.90 to Gh¢94.47 which is 85% and Net worth also increased by 7.87% which was from Gh¢8.51million to Gh¢10.25 million.
In spite of the negative impact of Covid-19 since 2020 to date, the Bank has recorded growth in all indicators. From the end of December, 2020 up to June 2021, the Bank’s profit has grown by 94.41%, Deposits by 11.17%, Gross loans by 7.80%, Investments by 17.87%, Total Assets by 11.95% and Networth by 16.95% per the bank’s unaudited accounts.
The Bank’s Capital Adequacy and Non-Performing Loan ratios were 20.71 and 2.33% respectively with 33,242 deposit customers and 9,978 loan customers.
|INDICATOR||2020 AUDITED ACCOUNTS
|JUNE 2021 MGT ACCOUNTS
|Profit before tax||662.23||1,287.49||94.41|
The Bank consistently had been ranked strong and placed 11 out of 140 RCBs in March, 2021 by ARB Apex Bank. Out of 24 Rural Banks in the Eastern Region as of March 2021, Akuapem Rural Bank had a sizeable market share.
The Bank holds 10.19% of the Total Assets, 15.77% of the Total investment, 10.27% Deposits and 12.44% Networth in the Region.
The Senior Advisor to the President, Yaw Osafo Marfo who was the special guest of honour of the occasion praised the Bank for the numerous successes chalked and the economic impact it has made particularly in the Akuapem communities since its establishment forty years ago.
He mentioned the Bank’s provision of jobs for the majority of the people in the areas of operations by the number of branches and agencies the bank has opened, besides the businesses the bank has financed including farmers both crops and poultry, transport sector as well as construction.
He also mentioned the Bank’s efforts in community support through their corporate social responsibility initiatives which is really the essence of the bank’s existence and commended the board and management for that.
Mr Osafo Marfo took the opportunity of the occasion to appeal to all rural banks in Ghana about “Environmental Cleanliness in the Rural Setting” and advised rural banks in Ghana to take up that responsibility of ensuring environmental cleanliness within their respective communities.
He said Ghana used to pride itself in environmental cleanliness in and around the rural setting but the story is entirely different today and the picture has completely changed; now people expect the district assemblies to do the cleaning even in the rural areas.
According to him, the capacity of the district assemblies makes it impossible to do the cleaning effectively and therefore appealed to the rural banks nationwide to consider it as a ‘special crusade’ to preach in the areas of their operation.