Despite the high cost of doing business last year, Amenfiman Rural Bank Limited posted impressive financial results in 2014, recording a net profit of GH¢4.6million.
The 2014 profit, compared against the GH¢4 million it recorded in the previous year, represents a growth of 15 per cent.
Reviewing the bank’s performance in 2014 at its 31st Annual General Meeting at Wassa Akropong in the Wassa Amenfi East District in the Western Region, Dr. Tony Aubynn, chairman of Amenfiman Rural Bank said government’s continued borrowing from the domestic market during the year under review resulted in high cost of doing business generally and for banks in particular.
Dr. Aubynn said government borrowing from the domestic market led to the upward trend of the average rate of the 91-day Treasury Bill.
He said the Treasury Bill rate increased to about 26 per cent by December 2014 as against 19 per cent in 2013.
This development, Dr. Aubynn said, led to the crowding out of the banks as surplus fund holders preferred investing their surplus funds in government papers instead of the bank’s deposit products.
According to him, the growth of the national economy remained slow during the year 2014, adding that the economy experienced high inflationary rate as consumer inflation hit 17 per cent as against 13.5 per cent in the year 2013.
Dr. Aubynn also mentioned the continuous depreciation of the cedi against the major trading currencies.
“The cedi depreciated by more than 40 per cent against the US dollar and other currencies thereby weakening the purchasing power of the cedi,” he said.
In spite of the difficult economic conditions the bank continued to make strides. Its total income rose from GH¢10.3 million in 2013 to GH¢15.3 million, in the year under review, representing a 49 per cent growth.
The Board Chairman said the bank’s total deposit went up 34 per cent to GH¢59 million in 2014 from GH¢44 million in the previous year.
He attributed the results to “the hard working staff and the mobilisation drive pursued by the management and staff.”
Dr. Aubynn said: “In line with the board of directors’ decision to ensure that the financial returns to shareholders of the bank continue to grow, the board has proposed a dividend payment of GH¢0.040 per share, amounting to GH¢277,625.00 in monetary terms.”
“Last year, the bank introduced a policy to invest at least five per cent of the annual profits in its catchment communities.
Accordingly, the bank has set aside a total of GH¢211,282 for social development projects in the communities including scholarships,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr Alexander Asmah, said the management team would continue to pursue policies aimed at maximising profits and giving exceptional customer satisfaction.
He said the bank would continue to pursue a massive share and deposit mobilisation, follow stringent cost reduction policies, strengthen internal control measures and develop the human capital to become more competitive.