The Kwabre Area Rural Bank PLC at Kodie in the Afigya Kwabre South district of Ashanti Region has recorded satisfactory growth in almost all operational indicators for the 2021 financial year, which is the bank’s first full year of operation since its inception.
The bank in barely two years of operations has recorded an impressive 278% growth in deposits, from approximately GH¢300,000 in 2020 to a little over GH¢1.1million in 2021. This remarkable growth was due to a workable operational strategy proposed by the Board of Directors and implemented by management and staff, coupled with an effective outreach mobilisation effort.
These and more were announcement by Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Louis Kwachie, at the bank’s 2nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of shareholders held virtually last Saturday at the head office in Kodie.
According to him, the 2021 year under review came with its own challenges; but leadership of the Bank redefined its strategies by considering the weaknesses and threats. He emphasised that the bank also took advantage of its strength and opportunities to work around the challenges to mitigate adverse effects on operations.
Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment coupled with some unfavourable circumstances that pertained during the reviewed year, the bank worked hard to record an acceptable operational performance in almost all the financial indicators in 2021 after operating in a full year, as compared to just four months in the previous year.
Total Assets of the bank grew by 14% from approximately GH¢1.7million in 2020 to a little over GH¢ 1.92million in 2021, with deposits increasing by 278%.
The bank’s investments in Treasury bills for the year 2021 hit GH¢438,395; with Loans and Advances to customers at the end of December 31, 2021 hitting GH¢184,621. However, the bank made a net loss of GH₵692,239 in 2021 as compared to GH₵331,342 in 2020.
The bank’s total unregistered shares increased by 62% in 2021, from GH¢318,479 in 2020 to GH₵514,831. The board chairman further noted that directors of the bank are in the process of getting all unregistered shares registered at the Registrar General’s Department, and getting approval from the Bank of Ghana for them to be added to the stated capital.
He therefore encouraged shareholders and other potential investors to buy more shares to support their strategic expansion plan in ensuing years.
Corporate Social Responsibilities
Despite the bank being new and young, it supported the Afigya Kwabre South District Assembly in its general cleaning exercise around the communities. The bank again supported the 2021 Farmers’ Day programme with a donation of spraying machines.
The bank has been actively involved in other social events and activities in the communities throughout the period, and will continue to support and sponsor all such events and programmes within its capacity.
In line with the BoG’s Corporate Governance Directive (CGD) for Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) to ensure that at least one female is on their board, Dora Nana Adjoa Awindor – a seasoned media production personality and the Development Queen Mother of Afigya Kwabre – was approved as the fifth member of the board of directors.
The bank in its quest to implement its strategic plan of branch expansion with full force beginning in 2023, urged shareholders to buy more shares to make the branch expansion dream a reality; since the regulator will not permit the bank to use depositors’ funds for branch expansion
“We will need more equity to make this dream a reality. We are therefore once again appealing for you all to support us with equity and all the resources needed for our expansion,” he stressed.
Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Gilbert Osei-Gyimah, in a telephone interview with Business & Financial Times said the bank’s business focus in 2022 is on effectient deposit mobilisation and supporting small businesses, particularly within their current operational territories – with operational efficiency and service as the main pillars in achieving profitability.
He has stressed that the bank will strengthen internal control measures and develop its human capital to meet demands of functioning profitability as well as achieve the objective of overcoming shocks from the unfriendly macroeconomy and rising cost of living as well as their devastating effects.