The Ga Rural Bank Limited (GRBL) registered a net profit of GH¢238,226 for 2015 as against GH¢ 433,859 in 2014, representing 45 per cent decrease.
It attributed the GH¢195,633 profit reduction to high operating cost and high provisions made for impairment losses on advances and depreciation.
However, the bank has assured its shareholders of a better performance this year.
Chairman of the GRBL, Nana Bram Okae II, who gave the assurance at the GRBL’s 24th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Amasaman on Saturday, said despite the decline the bank recorded a total income of GH¢ 6.5 million, which is an increase of GH¢ 745,978 over that of 2014.
He said customer deposits rose from GH¢ 20.1 million to GH¢ 25.5 million with a variance of GH¢ 5.3 million, representing 26.6 per cent.
According to Nana Okae II, the increase in total income was mainly due to interest earned on advances portfolio and upward adjustment in investment made on behalf of the bank.
On behalf of the board and management, the chairman proposed GH¢ 0.07 dividend per share amounting to GH¢ 265,676 as against GH¢ 253,822 in 2014 for all shareholders.
He lauded the shareholders for their continuous support over the years, but urged them to purchase more shares to increase the bank’s capital base.
Nana Okae II said shareholder funds appreciated by GH¢ 62,573 from GH¢ 2.7 million in 2014 to GH¢ 2.8 million this year, representing a marginal growth, due to reduction in the profitability and the need to meet shareholders’ return on their investment.
He was hopeful that this year presented a more conducive environment for doing business for which reason the bank was poised to perform better financially.
The bank has opened a new branch at Djanman-Pokuase, bringing the number of its branches to eight in the Greater Accra Region and was hopeful of opening another branch at Ablekuma in 2017.
Nana Okae II was also optimistic that the stringent measures taken by government to pluck financial loopholes in the economy, while implementing programmes to enhance growth of the Gross Domestic Product, would inure to the benefit of the banking sector.
The Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank Limited, Kwadwo Aye Kusi, in a speech read on his behalf by the bank’s Head of Legal and Compliance Unit, Mr. Curis W. Brantuo entreated rural banks to make compliance of regulations their utmost priority.
According to him, there were a number of regulatory, statutory and legal requirements that a rural bank should comply with.
That, he said, included the Bank of Ghana/ARB Apex Bank notices and circulars, the PAYE, VAT, SSNIT and Pensions and the Compliance Act which stipulates AGMs and other requirements for internal policies and procedures.
By Charles Amankwa