By: Ewurabena Paha
Rural banks across the country have not been spared from the devastating effect of governments domestic debt exchange program.
Though the banks recorded an unprecedented growth of 10.3 million cedis in 2022, the DDEP wiped everything off.
This resulted in significant impairment losses of 113.6 million cedis leading to a loss before tax of 103.5 million cedis at the end of December 2022.
These were announced by the Board Chairman of ARB APEX BANK, Dr Anthony Aubynn at its 21st Annual General Meeting at Kwahu Nkwatia in the Eastern Region.
The banks assets however grew by 25.6% year on year from 6.7 billion Ghana cedis to 8.4 billion at the end of December 2022.
Deposits rose by 25.4% from 5.9 billion in December 2021 to 7.4 billion in 2022.
Dr Anthony Aubynn announced that loans and advances also recorded an increase of 18.2% from 2.2%.
The challenging economic conditions under which the bank operated for the period under review cannot be overlooked. High inflation, depreciation of the cedi, uncertainty in the global economy outlook and the effect of the DDEP did not stop the bank from recording unprecedented gains.
Dr Aubynn announced that the bank recorded a profit before tax of 10.4 million cedis in 2022.
Managing Director of APEX Bank PLC, Alex Kwesi Awuah who expressed profound gratitude to the board, management and staff of the Bank for their support during the year under review announced some major infrastructure the bank undertook.
In the year under review, the bank experienced challenges with the T-24 core banking application. With approval from the board, the bank commissioned consultants to address the challenge where an upgrade to R16 and R20 were made.
As reported last year, ARB APEX BANK set up a specialised unit called business intelligence and distress bank reforms unit to date base research to help the bank to assist ailing RCB’s to chart a path to sustainable recovery.
Mr Kwesi Awuah said the bank also invested in safety and security of its staff by acquiring 8 armoured bullion vans to aid cash-in transits.
Three of the vans are currently in operations in Accra, Western and Ashanti regions.
In an artificial intelligence space, ARB APEX BANK is poised to explore avenues to meet the challenging and continuous disruption in the banking industry to enable rural banks remain relevant in their catchment areas.
In the opinion of the independent auditors, ARB APEX BANK’S financial statements gave a true and fair view of the financial position of the Bank as at 31st December 2022.
It financial performance and cash flows for the year ended in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards.