The Sekyere Rural Bank Limited at Jamasi in the Sekyere South district of Ashanti Region has posted an impressive operational performance for the 2019 year under review.
The bank recorded a profit before tax of approximately GH¢1.5million in the reviewed year, compared with a little over GH¢1.17million the previous year, representing a growth rate of 28%.
This remarkable growth in profit in spite of major issues that confronted the Ghanaian banking industry is attributed to contributions from the bank’s esteemed shareholders and dedicated customers, who have demonstrated continued trust in services provided the bank.
The growth in all the indicators also demonstrates the enviable skill and capacity of the bank’s board, management and staff; who in spite of all the challenges in the banking system, have weathered the storm to record growth in all the major performance indicators and bring much-needed profitability to shareholders of the bank.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Francis Denteh, announced these and more at the bank’s 31st Annual General Meeting of shareholders held last Friday at Kofi Agyei Junior High School Park, Bampenase, near Kumasi.
According to Dr. Denteh, with the exception of the Ghana cedi – which depreciated by 12.9% against the United States dollar compared to 8.4% in 2018 – Ghana’s economy in 2019 recorded improvements in all the major macroeconomic indicators.
Inflation steadily declined from 9.4% in 2019 and ended the year at 7.9%. The Bank of Ghana monetary policy rate decreased by 100 basis points, ending the year 2019 at 16% from 17% as witnessed in the previous year. The Government of Ghana Treasury-bill rate remained at 14%.
The banking industry in Ghana continued to experience some challenges, on the back of the significant changes in the sector as introduced by the regulator – the Bank of Ghana, which aimed at improving the banking industry in Ghana.
In spite of the challenging macroeconomic environment that pertained during the reviewed year, the bank managed to pull yet another impressive operational performance in all financial indicators for the year under review as shown in the table below.
Our performance in 2019 compared to 2018 figures.
|Performance Indicator||2019 (GH¢)||2018 (GH¢)||% Increase|
|Loans and Advances||27,605,988||25,308,635||9|
|Profit /(Loss) Before Tax||1,491,962||1,170,166||28|
The bank’s directors could not declare and pay dividend for the 2019 financial year. This decision follows the Bank of Ghana’s directive to all banks in Ghana not to declare or pay dividend in 2019 unless explicit approval had been obtained from the Bank of Ghana. However, a dividend of GH¢0.00362 per share – amounting to GH¢ 250,000 – was declared and paid for the year ended 31st December 2018.
Corporate Social Responsibility
The bank continued to provide support for communities and institutions within its catchment areas, spending a total of GH¢24,240 on Corporate Social Responsibility. The major economic areas that beneﬁtted include Education, Health, Security, Agriculture and Traditional Council Financial Support toward Farmers’ Day celebrations, and scholarship awards to needy but brilliant students who are resident in or hail from the bank’s catchment areas.
The bank’s General Manager, Mr. Michael Aidoo, in an interview with Business & Financial Times said the bank will continue to pursue growth as the strategy that continues to drive the bank toward achieving its vision of becoming the rural bank of choice in Ghana.
He emphasised that the bank will continue to exhibit significant prowess despite the highly competitive banking industry in which it operates.
Good corporate governance, effective risk management practices, advanced compliance programmes and excellence in customer service will continue to be given significant attention by the Board and Management, so as to help safeguard the bank and grow its assets.
Mr. Benjamin Chemel, Head of Finance and Administration at ARB Apex Bank who spoke on behalf of the Managing Director, commended the bank for its impressive performance.
He reckoned that the bank’s performance contributed to increasing its size by over 13 percent.
Among other things, he disclosed that new corporate governance directives for Rural and Community Banks (RCB) currently being discussed will come into force by 2021.
He therefore implored shareholders of the Sekyere Rural Bank to be mindful of the impending directives in selecting members of the board of directors.
Also, he entreated RCBs to consider deploying products like Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) that will minimise personal contact – particularly with the advent of COVID-19.
So far, he said, the Apex Bank has rolled out 80 ATMs to some customers and non-customers of RCBs, which contributed to enhancing convenience while increasing their commission base.