The Atwima Mponua Rural Bank PLC has posted a 28.5 percent increase in profit before tax for the year 2020.
It is an increase from a 645,158 cedis in 2019 to 829,177 cedis as of the end of the 2020 financial year.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic doing the year under review, the bank managed to mobilize a total deposit of 45 percent increase.
Deposit also increased from 63, 867, 147 cedis in 2019 to 92,714,440 cedis in 2020.
At the 37TH annual general meeting held at Toase, Board Chairman of the bank, Phyllis Constance Puttiick, attributes the performance during such a difficult year to strong strategic measures to encourage customers to keep their money in the bank.
“…the pandemic came in with all its challenges, but we ask ourselves what is in there for us as directors and board. And once we were able to answer those questions, we took the right decisions”.
Other Financial Records
Loans and advances saw a 25 percent growth in 2020.
This was to encourage small and medium businesses that were struggling during the pandemic to get back onto the feet thereby boosting the confidence in the bank.
The bank therefore gave out loans and advances of 18,806,443 cedis in 2020 from a 2019 figure of 15,022,887 cedis.
Mrs Puttiick revealed the board and management charged its credit officers in the wake of bad loans to find human-centered ways to retrieve them.
“We realized loans were going bad. As a marketing person, I didn’t see going to court as the best results to retrieve loans, but when you engage the clients it becomes a win-win situation – you end up winning their confidence and still getting the loan paid.”
She continued, “…so instead of dragging the person to court and at the end of the day marring the relationships, customers were paying little by little and by the time we realized they were servicing the loans”.
Investment grew by 76 percent from 30,832,887 cedis to 54,345,108 cedis as at 2020. Total assets grew by 32 percent.
Meanwhile, shareholders’ funds also grew by 70 percent as a result of the performance during the period.
In view of the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic and its potential impact on the banking sector, the Bank of Ghana directed banks and SDIs to desist from declaring or paying dividends or distributing reserves to shareholders, and from making any irrevocable commitments regarding the declaration or payment of dividends to shareholders for 2020 and 2021 financial years.
It continued that Banks and SDIs shall seek prior written approval from Bank of Ghana before declaring or paying dividends or distributing reserves to shareholders, and making any irrevocable commitments regarding the declaration or payments of dividends to shareholders.
But Mrs Putiick said the current situation is a big challenge which is not good for the economy and the people living in these operational communities who trust in the banks.
“…people are not ready to buy more shares because they are not getting returns so government should come to our aid”.
She observes locked-up funds of the RCBs in some of the defunct finance houses are the reason for the development.
“We are pleading with the BoG to come in and help retrieve funds with fund managers that are not liquidated, than to say that they need to impair those funds because it might collapse the rural banks.”
Acting Managing Director for ARB Apex Bank, Alex Awuah, wants the depositors to bear with the banks in these challenging times.
“we will urge all shareholders to bear with us so that we go through the process…we live in uncertain times and that comes with stronger measures to ensure that the industry is protected and there is confidence in the banking industry”.
He added that there are provisions for banks that for some reasons think they are well capitalized and can make some justifications to pay dividends, the BoG would assess their financials and consider.
Meanwhile, though the Bank of Ghana says these measures taken during the pandemic have ensured that the banking sector has generally remained robust and resilient it shall continue to monitor developments in the industry to identify emerging risk and potential threats to the safety and soundness of the banking sector and shall issue further notices as may be required.
The mid-year review of the bank’s performance for the year 2021 shows positive variances which when sustained would see another sterling performance for end of year 2021.
By the middle of 2021 deposit mobilization had risen to almost 100 million cedis, with an end of year projection of about 120 million cedis.
Shareholders’ funds saw a significant leap to almost 7million cedis as well as a profit before tax of nearly 2million cedis
Board Chairperson, Phyllis Constance Puttiick, anticipates that, …”as we work towards improved loan recovery, reduced delinquencies and enhanced staff productivity, we are confident that this can only get better for us to sustain these gains throughout the rest of the year and beyond”.
She added that, “…In furtherance of our corporate social responsibilities, we will continue to support development projects within the communities in which we operate”.
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