Total deposits also rose to GH¢341.2 million in 2018, representing a growth of 22.8 per cent over the GH¢277.9 million recorded in 2017.
Despite the improvements in the financial indicators, the bank’s profit declined from GH¢2.0 million recorded in 2017 to GH¢914,200 in 2018.
The Board Chairman of the bank, Mr James Kwame Otieku, gave the overview at the bank’s 17th Annual General Meeting in Ho in the Volta Region at the weekend.
He also explained that loans and advances grew by 26.4 per cent to GH¢37.8 million at the end of 2018 from GH¢29.9 million in 2017.
Improvement of service delivery
Mr Otieku further assured the shareholders of plans to implement various projects to improve upon service delivery and the income streams of the bank.
He was optimistic that the bank would improve upon its profit performance and shareholder value in the years ahead.
Mr Otieku also apologised to shareholders for the deferred payment of dividends to shareholders.
He attributed the failure of the bank to honour the dividend payment obligation to the low capitalisation of the bank and the need to increase the bank’s stated capital.
“There is the increasing need for accumulation of profits over time as we pursue measures to attract additional capital.
We, therefore, do not propose the payment of dividends for the year under review,” he said.
Contribution to CSR
According to Mr Otieku, ARB Apex Bank spent a total of GH¢138,400 on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the 2018 financial year as compared to an amount of GH¢303,600 spent on CSR for the previous year.
The key beneficiary sectors under the bank’s CSR programmes were education, health and community engagement.
The Managing Director of the bank, Mr Mattah, stated that “the US$8 million World Bank-sponsored agency banking project had finally been approved and was awaiting pilot implementation.
The first phase of the project is expected to sign up 1,000 agents (or agency bankers) across the country.
He explained that with secure point of sale devices (PoS), customers could have access to myriads of banking services without necessarily walking into a banking hall.
“This project is expected to deepen rural financial inclusion and intermediation in the country,” he said.
Upgrade of ICT infrastructure
The managing director stated that the bank was working to put in place the necessary infrastructure to comply with the Bank of Ghana directive on cyber security.
“We are also upgrading all the core ICT platforms with state-of-the-art firewalls to ward off cyber criminals,” he said.
According to him, a T-24 core banking suite was being upgraded from the current licensing regime to unlimited licence era to give their member banks unlimited access to all the components of the modern banking application.
He also added that the U-Connect Mobile Banking application would also be upgraded to allow patrons more flexibility and choice.
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