By Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA
Shama (WR), Aug. 11, GNA - The Lower Pra Rural Bank has outstanding advances totalling GHȼ45.3 milion in 2018 as against GHȼ37.9 million under its lending programme representing a 19.53 percent increment in debt toll.
The bank offered advances to its customers in the form of group loans, salaried, overdrafts, consumer goods and vehicle as well as building loans.
Mr. Francis Mensah, the Board Chairman of the Bank at the 31st annual General Meeting of Rural Bank said, "We continue to note with grave concern the failure of some loan customers to service their loans fully or on timeline."
The bank's past due ratio in terms of defaulter rate stood at four point three percent, "it is still high and unacceptable accounting for GHȼ1,824,407.00 bad and doubtful debts to the bank".
Mr. Ensah said the bank would therefore adopt vigorous mitigation and recovery measures even if it had to resort to court arbitration to retrieve some if not all the bad debts, "we were compelled to take some customers to court for the purpose".
The Board Chairman noted that the Bank would continue with some prudent and good measures in terms of investment in order to ensure good returns on shareholders’ investment.
However, the bank could boast of 17 percent increase on total asset, which stood at GHȼ98.2 million in the year under review.
The total deposits increased from GHȼ73.2 million in 2017 to GHȼ84.4 million in 2018 an increase of 15 percent.
The lower Pra rural bank also recorded a profit before tax of GHȼ1,158,431.
The Board Chairman mentioned that the bank committed GHȼ430,588 in developmental projects under its corporate social responsibility and rewarded shareholders with a five pesewa increment in dividends to shareholders.
Mr Mensah said the bank was ready to partner the government in the implementation of the one constituency, one million dollar Project.
Mr. Isaac Kwamina Afful, the Chief Executive Officer of the Lower Pra rural bank said the bank had good financial muscles to meet varied kinds of needs for both the formal and informal sector and entreated the public to do business with them.
He mentioned the expansion works on their ATM networks adding, "we hope to have 100 ATM before close of year 2019".
Mr Afful added that the Agency banking concept would be expanded to rope in over 1000 agents to serve the unbanked and underserved areas.
Mrs. Lucy Quansah, a representative of the ARB Apex Bank appreciated the bank for the great job despite the "Topsy-Turvy" nature of the financial year.
She called on communities to do business with rural banks, "have confidence in them and transact business with rural banks to make the industry even more prosperous and resilient".
Mrs. Quansah urged rural banks to focus on their area of operations to avoid exposing themselves to unwarranted risks, "venturing into big ticket transactions only exposes our assets to unmanageable risks".