The ARB Apex Bank has commended Sonzele Rural Bank for its encouraging performance for the 2018, financial year by consistently registering impressive deposit mobilization and an increase in its share capital.
The Wa Branch Manager of ARB Apex Bank, Michael Nyardu Nyarko made the commendation when he represented his Managing Director, Kojo Mattah at the 29th Annual General Meeting of the Sonzele Rural Bank at Jiripa in the Upper West Region.
Mr. Nyarko pointed out that the feat chalked up by Sonzele and most rural and community banks (RCBs) under the period under review is an indication of growing public confidence in the rural banking system.
He said: “No wonder 23 RCBs booked a place in the Prestigious Ghana Club 100 event organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) recently.”
The Board of Directors, management and staff of Sonzele Rural Bank were also praised by Mr. Myarko for posting a modest, but impressive 176 thousand, 749 Ghana Cedis (GH₵176,749.00) profit before tax in the 2018 financial year.
The profit was described as impressive because of the effects of Bank of Ghana’s clean-up exercise on the performance of some financial institutions in the country.
Sonzele Rural Bank equally placed third in the 2019 third quarter countrywide ranking of RCBs done by the Evaluation and Monitoring Unit (EMU) of the ARB Apex Bank.
Whilst congratulating Sonzele for its achievement, Mr. Nyarko cautioned the Bank not to be complacent but rather work hard to consolidate the gains made in order help it achieve more in future.
The Wa Branch Manager of ARB Apex Bank announced that the upgrade of the licensing regime of the T-24 suite banking application from the limited to the unlimited regime has been completed thereby giving RBCs unlimited access to all the components of the modern banking application.
“We at the ARB Apex Bank will continue to support efforts aimed at ensuring a sound financial system in the country because that is the only path to our bright future for all shareholders of the RCBs,” Mr. Nyarko emphasized.
The Board Chairman of Sonzele Rural Bank, Mathias K. Samwine announced that the share capital of the bank as at 31st December, 2018 stood at One Million, Three Hundred Thousand and Forty-Six Ghana Cedis (GH₵1,300,046.00) as against the required minimum capital of One Million Ghana Cedis (GH₵1,000,000.00).
He said though the Bank has exceeded Bank of Ghana’s minimum capital requirements, it is the vision of the to grow the share capital and entreated shareholders to purchase more shares at one Ghana Cedi (GH₵1.00) per share and also encourage others to do.
Mr. Samwine pointed out that advances given the period under review increased by 4.67 % to two million, one hundred and eighty-two thousand, two hundred and twenty-five Ghana Cedis (GH₵2,182,225.00).
The advances for 2017 stood at two million, eighty-four thousand, nine hundred and forty-seven Ghana Cedis (GH₵2,084,947.00).
The increase in advances was as a result of proactive measures taken by the board and management to do more lending within the catchment area of the bank to boost the economic activities of the people.
There was a decrease in the total assets of the bank by 5.42% from eighteen million, six hundred and ninety-three thousand, three hundred and ninety-three Ghana Cedis (GH₵18,693,393.00) in 2017 to seventeen million, six hundred and eighty thousand, two hundred and ten Ghana Cedis (GH₵17,680,210.00).
The Board Chairman indicated that the bank sustained a performance that positioned it among the top rated RBCs in Ghana and had therefore delivered moderate returns. Mr. Samwine intimated that the guiding principle of the bank hinges on sustainability rather than super-normal profits.
Touching on information on social media alleging that that Bank of Ghana has plans to withdraw the licenses of some RCBs, the Board Chairman of Zonzele Rural Bank described the information as false, malicious and baseless.
He therefore urged customers of Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) and the general public to ignore the messages and do business with RCBs, saying they are “the time tested institutions you can trust”.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Lambussie, Iddrisu Braimah Wikana charged RCBs to take advantage of the banking sector reforms to consolidate the gains they had made by further improving their services.
He observed that Sonzele had made progress in spite of the keen competition in the banking and financial industry in recent times added that he was enthused that the Bank has a fully-fledged micro-finance department to further help mitigate rural poverty in the Bank’s catchment area.
Mr. Wikana said is it refreshing for the bank to initiate need-based products and services to its numerous customers in and outside Jirapa including his own District (Lambussie), where the bank has a branch and stressed the need for awareness creation to be stepped up for more people to access the products and services.
Story filed by Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo