The Sefwiman Rural Bank in the Western Region has voted GH¢1.7 million to support the development of the agricultural sector in its operational area to help create jobs, increase the income of the people and promote the development of the nation’s export base.
This represents 34 per cent of five million cedis (GH¢5,000,000) which the bank has earmarked to be granted as loans to support the development of the agriculture sector by the next financial year.
The Board Chairman of the bank, Dr Francis Aboagye-Okyere, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic at Bibiani during the bank’s 9th annual general meeting, explained that the areas to benefit from the funding included poultry, piggery, cocoa inputs, rice cultivation, milling, and vegetable farming.
He said the bank gave out GH¢1,000,000 as loan last year in the agricultural sector out of three million total loans granted to their clients.
Dr Aboagye-Okyere announced that the bank made a net profit of GH¢265,470.98 in 2014 as against GH¢251,502.03 last year, representing an increase of six per cent.
The small increase, according to him, was attributed to the numerous economic challenges that confronted the nation last year.
He said total assets of the bank grew from GH¢6.1 million in 2013 to GH¢8.7 million in 2014, representing an increase of 43 per cent while investments grew from GH¢2.2 million in 2013 to GH¢3.75 million in 2014, representing an increase of 71 per cent.
Dr Aboagye-Okyere also mentioned the growth in loans and advances from GH¢2.3 million in 2013 to GH¢3. million in 2014, an increase of 34 per cent, adding that the bank’s customer’s deposits grew from GH¢4.35 million in 2013 to GH¢6.95 million in 2014, representing an increase of 60 per cent.
He attributed the increase in customers’ deposits to the dedication and hard work of the staff and urged them to continue working hard to improve the fortunes of the bank and the savings of clients.
The General Manager of the bank, Mr Richard Kwame Adjei, said as part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility, it donated to the Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai District Assembly towards the district’s Farmers Day, the Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service and supported the Zoomlion company to clear a backlog of refuse that had engulfed Bibiani.
The Managing Director for ARB Apex Bank, Mr Kwadwo Aye Kusi, in an address read for him, urged rural and community banks to strengthen their credit management structures to improve their finances.
He appealed to the bank to put in measures to ensure that they were able to meet the challenging regulation, technology, competition and customers’ expectations.
The occasion was used to present awards to five customers of the bank for their dedication towards activities of the bank and were presented with various parcels.