Amansie Rural Bank PLC, at Antoakrom in the Amansie West district of Ashanti Region, has recorded impressive growth in all financial indicators for the 2022 year under review.
The bank posted a pre-tax profit of approximately GH¢9.8million in the 2022 period under review as against a little over GH¢5.8million in the previous year, representing a remarkable growth of 67.817 percent. The rise in profit is attributed to improved revenues generated from operations and prudent management of recurrent expenditures on the part of the board, management and entire staff.
In spite of this impressive growth in all indicators, which is unprecedented, the board was unable to recommend payment of dividend due to the Bank of Ghana directive to banks and deposit-taking institutions on their subscription to the Government Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) to suspend the declaration and payment of dividends as well as other distributions to shareholders.
The shareholders have however been entreated to accept this regulatory decision in good faith, as the board has pledged to utilise the reserved financial resources to generate more profits and subsequent distribution.
Chairman-Board of Directors, Ben Kwaakye Adeefe, announced these and more at the bank’s 38th annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders held in Antoakrom.
According to him, the global economy faced enormous challenges in 2022; characterised by rising inflation, volatile commodity prices, supply-chain disruptions, tightening financial conditions and weakened growth.
On the local front, data released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in April, 2023 indicated that provisional real GDP growth was 3.1 percent in 2022, compared to 5.1 percent in 2021. The slowdown in growth was attributed to lingering supply-chain constraints, tightened global financing conditions and rising input costs.
Headline inflation moved from 12.6 percent in December 2021 to 54.1 percent in December 2022. The sharp rise in headline inflation was mainly attributed to spillovers from the Russia-Ukraine war, pass-through effects of currency depreciation, upward adjustments in ex-pump petroleum prices, transport fares and utility tariffs.
Cocoa purchases & transfers
The bank paid a total cocoa transfer amounting to GH¢110.7million in the year 2022. There was a significant increase of over 200% compared with the amount paid in 2021, to the tune of GH¢36.6million paid for cocoa transfers. The surge in cocoa transfers was attributed to using the bank instead of cash conveyed by some financial institutions to Licenced Buying Companies (LBCs).
Corporate social responsibility
The bank increased its spending by 163% on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in 2022 over 2021 figures. A total amount of GH¢243,226 was spent in 2022 as compared to GH¢92,367 in 2021. A significant portion of the CSR went into the Education and Security sectors to serve the best interest of inhabitants in catchment areas of the bank’s operations.
The bank’s collaboration with Apex Bank PLC to roll out GHANA PAY took off successfully in 2022. This service was added to the GH Linked ATM Cards and E-ZWICH Card issuance to the bank’s customers. To that extent, the board has therefore entreated all shareholders, especially those who are also customers, to register with the bank to be linked with the above-mentioned electronic platforms to enjoy modern technology in banking – while at the same time deepening the financial intermediation and cash-lite agenda of government.
The bank has therefore advised its customers to take a keen interest in the Short Message Service (SMS) accompanying transactions such as deposits, withdrawals and transfers etc. with the bank, thus enabling them to provide reasonable assurances for both the customer and the bank at all times.
The bank chalked up 4 decades of banking success this year 2023 after its establishment on October 22, 1983. It has been a tremendous journey, with many lessons and experiences put to the wheel by the forefathers and current generation of shareholders, board, management and staff to reach this enviable stage in the bank’s life.
The board and management as well as the staff of the bank have every cause to rejoice for the progress made, with many positive indicators to be happy about, coming from the bank’s recognition as currently one of the Top 10 Rural Banks in Ghana out of 147 by the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
The bank has gone through many changes, with the recent decision by shareholders to change its name from the Amansie West Rural Bank Limited to Amansie Rural Bank PLC; the logo, slogan and colours will embrace the transformation in the bank’s operational and governance systems.
The board has resolved to raise funds for celebrating a Golden Jubilee when the bank attains 50 years in 2033 – with expected significant financial resources.
CEO of the bank, Frederick Kwakye Kyei, told B&FT in an interview that management will continue seeking ways of strengthening and developing the banks’ operations to maintain the confidence of its customers and shareholders.
The bank’s business model, according to the CEO, is still tailored for the micro-, small- and medium enterprises, and will push for more market penetration as they develop new, innovative products and trusted relationships with its clients.
According to him, the bank will continue to see its strength in the area of managing credit needs of small and medium enterprises, as well as continuing to improve upon the support it offers to this sector of the economy.