The total investment of the Avenor Rural Bank has increased from 32.10 per cent from GH¢3,986,226.00 in 2015 to GH¢5,265,712.00 in 2016, greatly improving the bank’s liquidity and reserve requirements.
The Bank’s total assets also increased from GH¢11,311,838.00 in 2015 to GH¢12,051,490.00 in 2016, an increment of 6.54 per cent, propelled mainly from growth in deposits.
Mr Simon Nerro Davor, the Board Chairman of the Bank, said this at the Bank’s 34th Annual General Meeting held at Akatsi.
He said it recorded a total deposit increase from GH¢9,050,477.00 in 2015 to GH¢ 9,723,345.00 in 2016, representing 7.43 per cent jump, with savings deposits accounting for 50 per cent.
Mr Davor said the Bank’s share equity also went up from GH¢1,317,727.00 to GH¢1,609,888.00 due to enhanced profits and additional share contributions but registered a negative profit before tax of 24.75 per cent from GH¢322,482.00 to GH¢242,653.00.
The Board Chairman blamed the decline in profits to high increase in operational costs and “bad and doubtful debts” apart from costs regarding ICT.
He said gross advances also marked a 1.45 per cent decline from GH¢5,599,529.00 in 2015 to GH¢5,518,234.00 in 2016, which was because the bank strategically slowed down on general advance portfolios to concentrate on small scale entrepreneurs like market women and artisans.
Mr Davor said the Bank met all regulatory and supervisory requirements including the minimum capital, capital adequacy ratio and reserve requirements in the year and appealed to shareholders to increase their holdings.
He said the Bank was focusing on customer service, staff training and development of IT operations, with greater emphasis on risk management and cost control.
Ms Francisca Dedei Attipoe, Deputy Head, Human Capital Development, ARB Apex Bank, who represented the Apex Bank’s Managing Director, applauded the Avenor Rural Bank for maintaining a “satisfactory performance and prudent management of resources.”
She asked the Bank to, among others, slow down on loans and advances, control cost and develop new products to ably contend the stiff competitions from micro-finance companies and universal banks.
Ms Attipoe said only 47 out of 141 Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) complied by the GH¢1 million minimum capital requirements by Bank of Ghana by March this year and urged the others to avoid the regulatory sanctions by December 2017 and called on RCBs to take issues of governance, risk and compliance seriously to remain buoyant.
She decried high fraud levels in RCBs and asked them to submit monthly fraud returns to the Bank of Ghana and the Apex Bank for publication of names of deviant staffs to weed out the bad ones and safeguard the industry.
Mr Sylvester Torku, the General Manager, Avenor Rural Bank, told the GNA that his focus was to intensify deposit mobilization, loan recovery, strengthen the Bank’s marketing department, introduce new products and repackage old and existing ones such as micro-finance and ‘susu’.
The meeting endorsed a Board decision to transfer GH¢454,000.00 from the Income Surplus Account to Stated Capital to enable the Bank meet the Bank of Ghana GH¢1 million Stated Capital Requirement on RCBs.
A GH¢0.0055 per share dividend, totalling GH¢83,291.70 was approved and two new persons were voted to fill vacancies on the Board.