The Ahantaman Rural Bank Limited made an unaudited profit of almost 700,000 Ghana cedis in the first seven months of 2011 Mr Kwame Awuah Asante, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank, announced this at the bank's 23rd Annual General Meeting at Agona-Nkwanta at the weekend.
He said this was an indication that 2011 was going to be more favourable than the previous year when declining trend in profits was recorded. Mr Asante said in 2010, the bank made a profit before tax of 334,452 Ghana cedis as against 451,342 Ghana cedis in 2009. He said the bank recorded deposits of 14,635,671 Ghana cedis in 2010 as against 10,189,857 Ghana cedis in 2009. Mr Eric Osei-Bonsu, Managing Director of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) Apex Bank Limited, said the computerization of Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) was started under the Rural Financial Services Project (EFSP).
He said this was being continued under the Millennium Development Authority (MIDA) Project, which was funded by the United States Government through the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). Mr Osei-Bonsu said the MIDA was paying for the cost of the initial infrastructural development but RCBs would have to brace themselves up to meet the maintenance cost of the ICT infrastructure. He said one sure way for RCBs to stay ahead of competition and grow in business was to offer excellent customer service.
There is therefore the need for the re-orientation of all staff to embrace excellence in customer service as a culture and not only as a tool for doing business, Mr. Osei-Bonsu said. He urged the RCBs to strengthen internal controls to ensure that their operations, which were computerized, were carried out in an orderly and consistent manner with best practices in the banking industry. Mr Osei-Bonsu announced that the Apex Bank recently signed an agreement with DANIDA in respect of a project to support the rural bank industry.
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