The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has assisted the Borimanga Rural Bank Limited with a power plant, computers, and related equipment to enable it to computerise its operations.
In addition, MiDA is providing training in management information systems, IT and data security among others to staff of the bank.
Alhaji Fuseini Seidu, Board Chairman of the Bank, announced this at the third Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of the Bank in Savelugu, in the Savelugu/Nanton District of the Northern Region at the weekend.
He said the bank’s automation and computerisation process would be completed in April 2011, and would significantly help to reduce transaction and processing time in the bank, and enhance operational efficiency.
He said MiDA had also provided the bank with funds to the tune of GH¢1,407,305 to assist 966 farmers within the Savelugu/Nanton District.
Alhaji Seidu said the injection of MiDA funds into the bank’s accounts of farmers, who were customers of the bank, also contributed to the deposit position in 2009.
He said the bank also expanded its loans portfolio on a significant scale, resulting in an increase in loans and advances by 252.66 per cent in 2009, adding that as the biggest asset in its balance sheet, the bank was doing all it could to ensure that the quality of its portfolio remained strong, by reducing defaults and delinquencies.
He observed that out of 3,600 borrowers served in 2009, 2,873 of them were women, representing about 80 per cent of the borrowers, saying, “Whilst we are pursuing growth and profitability, we are also loyally serving an important section of the populace.”
The Board Chairman said the bank pursued sound investment policies in 2009, bearing in mind the need to maximise shareholder wealth, and as a result, its investment rose from GH¢196,590 as at 2008, to GH¢846,590 in 2009, representing an increase of 330.64 per cent.
Alhaji Seidu said owing to some challenges the bank faced, it managed to record a net profit of GH¢49,335.00 in 2009, as against GH¢55, 780.00 in 2008, showing a decrease of 11.55 per cent.
He said the bank was, however, more than determined to perform better in the coming years, so as to create value for the investment of its shareholders.
Mr. Eric Osei-Bonsu, Managing Director of ARB APEX Bank Limited, in a speech read for him, expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the bank last year, and urged the bank to strive to make steady improvements, by instituting good industry practices in all areas of its operations.
He reminded the management of the bank of the increasing competition in the banking industry, and said one sure way to keep pace with the trend, was for rural banks to improve upon the quality of service delivery.
He noted that the introduction of ICT-based products in the banking industry, also brought in its wake associated risks, and urged rural banks to adopt risk management policies that incorporated all activities required to identify and control the bank’s exposure to risk, which might have adverse effects on the achievements of the banks’ objectives.
Prince Askia Mohammed, District Chief Executive (DCE) of Savelugu/Nanton, said the government and the district assembly would continue to create an enabling environment for the private sector to position itself efficiently, to discharge its responsibilities to the larger community.
He said in that vein, the government also expected the banks to discharge their social responsibility to the people, and therefore, urged the bank to consider offering some scholarship packages to needy but brilliant students in the area.
He said the district was endowed with numerous water bodies, which could be utilised for vegetable cultivation, and appealed to the bank to consider providing some micro-credit to support women to undertake this venture. – GNA