The Odotobri Rural Bank Limited at Jacobu in the Amansie Central District of the Ashanti Region posted yet another impressive operational performance in the 2016 year under review at the bank’s 30th annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders.
The bank posted a pre-tax profit of approximately GH¢3.9 million in 2016 as against a little over GH¢3.6m in the previous year, representing a growth of 7.63 per cent.
This comes with the improved revenue generation, raising total income from a little over GH¢15.9 million to approximately GH¢17.9 million, which is a reasonable improvement in the bank’s income generation activities.
The bank’s total deposits grew from GH¢62.3 million to GH¢68.5 million in the 2016 year under review, representing 9.96 per cent of the 2015 performance even though government’s domestic borrowings resulted in high interest rates on treasury bills during the year under review. This was as a result of the hardworking staff and the mobilisation drive pursued by management.
During the year under review, the bank extended total loans and overdraft facilities of GH¢24,848,000 to customers, representing an increase of 19.20 per cent.
Total assets recorded an increase of 13.06 per cent, moving from GH¢77,393,000 in 2015 to GH¢87,504,000 in 2016.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Bernard Asamoah Boateng, announced this at the AGM held last Saturday at the Nana Adu Darko Community Centre at Jacobu.
According to him, Ghana’s economy experienced slow growth during the year under review at the backdrop of the Inthernational Monetary Fund (IMF) fiscal consolidation programme and rising debt.
With a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 3.9 per cent from 3.4 per cent in 2015, general economic activities in the country could best be described as modest.
Similarly, Mr Boateng said, the run-up to the 2016 general election created a lot of uncertainties in the business community, of which the Odotobri Rural Bank was no exception.
He said in spite of the challenging macro-economic and political environment that pertained during the reviewed year, the bank managed to pull yet another satisfactory operational performance in all its financial indicators.
In line with the board of directors’ decision to ensure that the financial returns to shareholders of the bank continued to grow, the board has proposed a dividend payment of GH¢0.024 per share, amounting to GH¢584, 687.09 in monetary terms, indicating 20 per cent of 2.9 million net profit. The chairman assured shareholders of the bank that the board would continue to make decisions and investments that would be in their best interest.
The bank continued to offer assistance to communities and institutions within its catchment areas in terms of community development projects and financial support which amounted to GH¢158,567.90.
The major economic areas that beneﬁted include education, health, sports and recreation, security, financial support towards Farmers’ Day celebrations and 21 scholarship awards to needy students who are resident or hail from the bank’s catchment areas.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank, Mr Siaka Baaba Ahmed, said the bank’s business focus in 2017 was on driving growth, innovations, efficiency and service as the main pillars in achieving profitability.
The bank’s business model, according to the CEO, was still tailored towards small and medium enterprises and would push for more market penetration as they develop new and better products and trusted relationships with clients of the bank.
He emphasised that the bank would continue to pursue a massive share and deposit mobilisation, follow stringent cost reduction policies, strengthen internal control measures and develop human capital to meet demands of functioning profitability in the competitive rural banking environment.
The bank took the initiative to introduce Automated Teller Machines (ATM).
Currently, ATMs have been installed at nine out of the 11 branches of the bank. The ATMs, which will reduce the turnaround time of customers, were inaugurated in July 2017. E-zwich cards can be used on any of the ATMs since they are GH-Link compliant, as well as cards to be used on ATMs of other banks and vice versa.
The Odotobri Rural Bank, during the year under review, received a number of awards both locally and internationally. The awards include being 51st in the Ghana Club 100 rankings, International Award for Business Excellence and Prestige in the Platinum Category presented by the Business Initiative Directions (BID) in New York (2016), Outstanding Rural Bank of the year received at the West African Regional Magazine Achievers Awards (2016) and Gold Award in Advisory Services and Silver Award in Deposit Mobilisation at the 13th Ashanti Financial Services Excellence Awards (2016).
The work of Mr Ahmed was also recognised by various institutions. Notable among them was the Companionship Award from the Civilian Institute of Democratic Administration as a fellow.