The Builsa Community Bank (BUCO Bank) in the Upper East Region has recorded significant growth in 2021 compared to 2020, despite the challenges that bedeviled the financial sector.
In spite of the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi against the major trading currencies; United States dollar, pounds sterling and euros at 0.05 per cent, 1.11 per cent, and 1.32 per cent, respectively, the bank remained resilient and recorded improved performance.
Mrs. Akanbangbiem Agamu Asokea, the Board Chairman, said this at the 22nd Annual General Meeting of shareholders at Sandema in the Builsa North Municipality.
Though the bank was rated strong by the Efficiency Monitoring Unit of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) Apex Bank and occupied the fourth position out of the 147 rural and community banks in 2021 as against 3rd position in 2020, all operational indicators showed growth.
It recorded a stated capital of GH¢1.93 million at the end of 2021 from GH¢1.6 million in 2020, representing 18.8 per cent increase, which exceeded the GH¢1.0 million set for the rural and community banks by the Bank of Ghana.
The year under review also saw total deposits increasing from GH¢35.2 million in 2020 to GH¢38.7 million in 2021, representing 9.88 per cent, while total assets increased from GH₵42 million in 2020 to GH¢45.9 million in 2021.
The short-term investments of the bank remained relatively the same with only 0.20 per cent increase, Net Worth shot up to GH¢5 million from GH¢4.5 million, representing 11.08 per cent.
Loans and Advances witnessed the most significant growth of 24 per cent, increasing from GH¢16.6 million to GH¢20.6 million, and Pre-Tax Profits rose from GH¢966,239.00 to GH¢1.1 million, representing 14.43 per cent within the same period.
The Board Chairman attributed the improved performance to prudent management and strategies to ensure sustainable growth of the bank.
She reiterated the resolve of the leadership to operate within the regulatory limits to maximise shareholder value.
“The risk and compliance unit and the internal audit unit of the bank shall be strengthened to ensure the identification, measuring and mitigation of the various risks that the bank faces in its operations as well as prevent and or detect fraud and other irregularities early in the bank’s operations,” Mrs. Asokea said.
The bank was also investing in digital infrastructure that would leverage the ARB Apex Bank and government to provide agency banking and allow customers to access their funds anytime and anywhere in the country.
It had spent GH₵29,250 on corporate social responsibility in education, agriculture, healthcare, culture, sports and environment, Mrs. Asokea said.
“The bank will continue to invest more in productive sectors of the local economy in order to improve on the livelihoods of our people.”
“We shall continue to actively participate and support government’s programmes like the One District One Factory, One Village One Dam, Planting for Food and Jobs and LEAP, biometric payment system among others in the years ahead.”
Madam Vida Akantariwen Anaab, the Builsa North Municipal Chief Executive, in a speech read on her behalf, commended BUCO Bank for the investments made to improve the local economy and appealed for further support for the vulnerable, especially smallholder farmers.
From Anthony AdongoApubeo, Sandema