Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank Limited at Pakyi No2 in the Amansie Central District of Ashanti Region has recorded a remarkable operational performance in the 2020 year under review.
Directors of the Bank never allowed the odds of the pandemic to cripple their responsibility to innovate and formulate practicable policies to ensure that the bank maintains or improves upon its ‘pace setting’ agenda in the rural banking industry.
The Bank posted a profit before tax of approximately GH¢5.9million in the 2020 reviewed year as against approximately GH¢4.5million in the previous year representing a satisfactory growth of 32%
The Bank recorded a signiﬁcant growth in deposit during the year under review in spite of COVID -19 pandemic and its associated economic challenges which affected many businesses during the reviewed year. Total deposit grew from a little over GH¢146 million in 2019 to GH¢205 million representing 40.12% growth in 2020.
With this remarkable performance, the Board has pledged to continue to work with management to sustain these gains which have been very consistent over the years. As the bank introduces innovation, technology and improves efﬁciency as well as service delivery, the board and management is conﬁdent of even greater performance in the years ahead.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Patrick Owusu announced these and more at the Bank’s 38th Annual General Meeting of shareholders held last Saturday at Pakyi No2.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly curtailed Ghana’s economic growth momentum. Real GDP growth was estimated to lose speed from 6.5% in 2019 to 1.7% in 2020, as a result of slump in oil prices and weakened global economic activity.
Inflation closed the year at 10.6% in 2020 from 8.7% in 2019 due to pandemic-related interruptions in supply chains and increase in food prices occasioned by panic buying during the lockdown. The banking sector reforms, including recapitalization of banks enhanced overall resilience of the banking sector.
Growth is projected to increase to 4% in 2021 according to the African Development Bank. The rural banking sector remains well-positioned to continue with the core objective of financial intermediation to support the rural and urban communities in Ghana.
In spite of the challenging macroeconomic environment coupled with an unprecedented pandemic that pertained during the reviewed year, the bank managed to pull yet another remarkable operational performance in all the financial indicators as indicated in the table.
|Profit Before Tax||5,918,843||4,498,636||31.57|
The Board has over the years proposed and actually paid a substantial dividend to shareholders 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 2019 until further notice. In complying with Bank of Ghana’s directive, the Board of Directors did not propose dividend in the reviewed year.
Meanwhile the board has assured shareholders that effective and favourable measures will be put in place to pay good dividends when the ban on the payment of dividend is finally lifted.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank in spite of the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic continues to initiate and support projects under its corporate social responsibility programs with the aim of giving back to society. During the reviewed year, the Bank allocated a total of GH¢69,934.00 towards its CSR projects with a special focus on education.
Operational Expansion and Service Delivery
The bank is in the business of expanding and improving on its service delivery. The bank opened its 10th Branch in 2020 at Bantama to serve the various customers at Bantama and its environs and ‘‘we will continue to draw on the technological innovation in the country to improve our service delivery and strategically increase our branch network to reach out to our numerous Customers,’’ he stressed.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Bank Dr Stephen Sarfo Kantanka in an interview said the Bank would continue to play a signiﬁcant role in the government’s ﬁnancial inclusion agenda and is poised to even to do more as the bank has begun to leverage the available technology to serve their customers better as well as improving efﬁciency and service delivery.
‘‘As pace setters of the industry, we needed to maintain our leading role and so while others were seeing the pandemic as a problem we saw a lot of opportunities and so we quickly devised some operational strategies with the management team and it worked for us’’
According to him, the Bank will continue to see its strength in the area of managing the credit needs of the small and medium enterprises as well as continuing to improve upon the support the bank offers to the rural banking sub-sector of the economy.
In an address Mr Kofi Owusu, ARB Apex Bank Kumasi branch operations officer on behalf of the Managing Director Mr Alex Kwasi Awuah commended the shareholders, directors and management of Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank for the impressive gains made in the 2020 financial year.
He applauded the bank for the gains made for the year and urged them to concentrate their efforts on the medium to small business segment, because that is where their strength lies.
He further encouraged Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank and all other member banks to strive to perfect the small business financing because that niche segment holds a huge potential for the rural bank sub sector.