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Lower Pra Rural Bank Ltd Makes Profit   
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The Lower Pra Rural Bank Limited in the Western Region continues to make impressive gains through prudent management with a net profit before tax of GHS2,068,203 in 2012 as against GHS1,219,494 in 2011, representing an increase of 70 percent.

The bank’s total assets increased from GHS32.6 million in 2011 to GHS43.6 million, representing an increase of 34 percent.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, Mr Nathaniel Arthur made the disclosure at Shama during its 25th Annual General Meeting over the weekend.

He said the increase in the bank’s total assets conformed to its sustainable growth rate policy and entreated the various stakeholders to continue having confidence in the board, management and staff to consolidate the gains made so far.

The Board Chairman said the total investment in treasury bills was GHS15.6 million in 2012 as against GHS10.6 million, representing an increase of 47 percent, adding that the bank would continuously pursue prudent investment policy to maximize returns on stakeholders’ funds.

“The demand for the bank’s shares has been on the increase due to the outstanding performance over the years thus existing shareholders should increase their shareholdings to maintain the community ownership of the bank”, he said.

During the year under review, the bank’s total deposits increased from GHS28.3 million in 2011 to GHS37.3 million in 2012, representing an increase of 32 percent which is an indication of the bank’s rigorous deposit mobilization drive and the extent of patronage by the communities in its catchment area.

Mr Arthur said the bank offered loans to its numerous customers in the form of sundry loans, overdrafts, consumer goods, vehicle and building loans, as well as loans for peasant farmers, fishermen, salaried workers and other stakeholders to expand their businesses.

He said the bank disbursed GHS28.9 million loans in 2012 compared to GHS15 million in 2011, representing an increase of 93 percent and appealed to creditors to pay their loans on time to enable the bank to extend credit to other customers.

Mr Kwadwo Aye Kusi, Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank Limited, said the bank could improve upon its performance by way of deposit and share mobilization, risk management, audit and compliance, as well as staff training and motivation.

He recommended that the bank creates a unique marketing niche in micro-finance business in order to improve upon its coverage or outreach in its operational area.

Mr Kusi advised the management, board and staff of the bank to place high premium on good corporate governance and risk management.

He urged the bank to put in place appropriate Information Communication Technology (ICT) security policies to protect its assets and said the ARB Apex Bank had instituted an ICT security policy that would ensure that risk associated with the implementation of ICT products are reduced to the barest minimum.

“Internal controls are designed to add value and efficiency to the bank’s operations by minimizing the incidence of irregularities such as fraud in our banks”, he noted.

Therefore, we must strengthen the internal control mechanisms for the attainment of the objectives of the bank”, Mr Kusi emphasised.

The Bank was established on August 13, 1983, and has 13 agencies and three mobilization centres, including Shama, Aboadze, Essikadu, Kokompe, Effiakuma, Kwesimintsim, Anaji, Mpohor, Daboase, Axim, Nkroful, among others.

It has provided alternative livelihood programme for vulnerable women in the area to be financially self-independent, as well as offered scholarships, health and educational facilities and stationery to students as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
Source: GNA

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