The Sonzele Rural Bank Limited operating in the Upper West Region has exceeded the minimum capital requirement of ¢1,000,000.00 set out by Bank of Ghana (BoG), according to its financial reports for 2017.
Shareholders’ fund of the Bank grew marginally from GH¢3,350,127.00 to GH¢3,380839.00 in the year under review and witnessed assets growth from GH¢15,348,096.00 in 2016 to GH¢18,693,393.00 in 2017, representing an increase of 21.80 per cent.
Mr Mathias K. Samwine, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Rural Bank made this known when he presented the annual report and financial statements of the bank at its Annual General Meeting in Jirapa.
He said the bank retained its position as a strong performing rural bank according to BoG and the ARB Apex Bank rating of Rural and Community banks in the country, in spite of difficulties in the financial sector.
“The 2017 financial year, which we are reviewing now, witnessed considerable challenges in the industry. The period saw a low interest rate, an average of 12.5 per cent, and low rate in government paper such as treasury bills,” he said.
The lending and investment decisions and activities of the bank during the year were therefore dictated by those two determinants together with the bank’s corporate vision and mission statements, he added.
Despite the turbulent economic conditions, Mr Samwine was happy the bank was able to attain 36 per cent increase in deposits over the period, saying: “The growth in deposits enhanced our lending and investment ability significantly during the period”.
The bank was not bullish in its credit delivery over the period for obvious reasons thus recording a marginal growth of 4.12 per cent in the loan portfolio.
He also listed the sectors which benefited from the bank’s credit facilities to include agriculture, transport, commercial and trading, microfinance, education and housing among others.
Mr. John Kwaku Nyamador, the Wa Branch Manager of ARB Apex Bank, applauded management and staff of Sonzele Rural bank for their successful operations, evidenced by its impressive profit growth before tax.
“Your bank placed an enviable ninth position in the overall ranking of all Rural and Community Banks in the country in our 2018 2nd Quarter performance review” he said.
Despite the “turbulent economic conditions” experienced in the year under review, he added, your bank was able to increase its assets in 2017, portraying a brighter future for the bank.
He told the shareholders that the bank has exceeded the minimum capital requirement of BoG and appealed to them to buy more shares.
The District Chief Executive for Nadowli-Kaleo, Mrs Katherine T. Lankono, said the bank has contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of the people in the area, stressing that, “Without the presence of this bank, most of our workers would have had to travel to Lawra, Nandom, Wa or beyond for their salaries at the end of every Month”.
She also praised the rural bank for being of tremendous help to many workers, farmers and various groups, in terms granting them salary advances and loans.
“I am told that GH¢2,084,947.00 was disbursed in this direction during the period under review,” she added.