Akuapem Rural Bank PLC at Mamfe in the Akuapem North District of Eastern Region has posted a remarkable operational performance, recording impressive growth in all the financial indicators in the 2021 year under review.
The bank recorded a profit after tax of approximately GH¢1.53million in the 2021 year under review as against a little over GH¢337,000 in 2020, representing an impressive growth of 354.24 percent. This remarkable growth was as result of increase in earnings on investments and loans due to the growth in these portfolios and diversification of investments into government bonds.
Total assets of the bank grew by 11.16 percent from about GH¢ 94.5million in 2020 to GH¢105.5million in 2021. The growth hinged on deposit growth of 13.33 percent from GH¢80.5million in 2020 to GH¢91.3million in 2021.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kwame Gyeke-Amoako, announced these and more at the bank’s 40th Annual General Meeting of shareholders held in person and virtually last Saturday at the Assembly Hall of Methodist Girls’ Senior High School at Mamfe, in the Eastern Region.
According to him, global price pressures intensified in 2021, primarily due to sharp increases in energy prices, rising demand pressures, and the persistent supply chain disruptions.
As a result, headline inflation across several advanced and emerging market economies rose above targets. Policy-makers in several emerging market economies continue to stay on the path of policy tightening in response to rising inflation.
The latest Ghana Statistical Service update showed that Real GDP growth for the first three quarters of 2021 averaged 5.3 percent, compared with an average contraction of 0.6 percent recorded in the same period of 2020
The performance of the banking sector in 2021 pointed to sustained growth in assets, deposits, and investments alongside improvements in the financial soundness indicators. In the year, total assets grew by 20.4 percent to GH¢179.8billion as at December 2021. Asset quality, however, continued to reflect the general pandemic-induced repayment challenges, as well as some bank-specific loan recovery challenges.
In spite of the challenging macroeconomic environment, both globally and locally, that pertained during the reviewed year, the bank pulled a very remarkable operational performance in all the financial indicators in 2021 as indicated in the table.
Bank’s performance for the last three (3) years
|YEAR||DEPOSITS||GROSS LOANS||SHORT TERM
|GH¢’ 000||GH¢’ 000||GH¢’ 000||GH¢’ 000||GH¢’ 000||GH¢’ 000|
The bank’s paid-up capital grew by 6.54 percent from GH¢2,153,013 in 2020 to GH¢2,293,784. Share purchases made for the year was GH¢140,771 which has been registered.
The bank, in the 2021 year under, has received approval from the Bank of Ghana for the payment of dividend of 40 percent of its profit after tax. This amounts to GH¢612,322 at GH¢0.0062 per share.
However, some concerned shareholders have raised concern about the percentage of dividend approved to be paid. They were of the view that the Board could be considerate to review the amount set aside for the payment of dividend because they had suffered two years of no dividend payment; besides, the bank is currently in a sound financial position and must consider the plight of the people who have invested by way of shares.
Corporate social responsibilities
The bank continues to offer assistance to communities and institutions within its catchment areas in terms of community development projects and financial support which amounted to GH¢70,080. The major economic areas that beneﬁtted include Education, Health, Sports, Recreation, Chieftaincy and Security.
ARB Apex Bank quarterly ratings
The bank was rated strong, and ranked 7th position by the Efficiency Monitoring Unit (EMU) of the ARB Apex Bank at the end of December, 2021 among the 145 RCB’s operating in Ghana, compared to 9th position in 2020.
Akuapem Rural Bank PLC was first in the Eastern Region at the end of 2021. The quarterly ranking uses 16 criteria grouped under the target areas of Capital, Asset quality, Asset utilisation, Earnings/Profitability and Liquidity (CAEL) which the bank aims to be among the top five in the country.
Regulatory advice & commendation
The Head of Finance and Administration of ARB Apex Bank PLC, Benjamin Chemel, who spoke on behalf of the Managing Director, Alex Kwasi Awuah, congratulated the bank for the remarkable operational performance and the consistent growth in all the major financial indicators for the past five years.
He further reminded the Board of Directors and Management of the recently launched GhanaPay, Bank-wide Mobile Money Wallet which is a joint initiative of Ghana Association of Banks and Ghana Inter-Bank Payment and Settlement Systems, GhIPSS. The MD of ARB Apex Bank has therefore encouraged rural banks to leverage this new service to issue wallet accounts to existing and new customers, and also set up bank agents.
He mentioned that government is currently beginning quite a number of planned activities to support MSMEs as part of government’s initiatives for economic growth. Mr. Chemel reminded industry players of the responsibilities of rural banks to play a key role in this strategic economic expansion.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Kingsley Kyere, in an interview, said the bank will continue to play a signiﬁcant role in government’s ﬁnancial inclusion agenda, and is poised to even do more as the bank has begun to leverage the Ghanapay and solutions from Fintech to serve their customers better, as well as improving efﬁciency and service delivery.
According to him, the bank will continue to strengthen its Credit with Education Programme by adding other products which will benefit clients. In addition, the credit needs of SMEs would be seriously pursued to improve this sector of the economy.