The Naara Rural Bank Limited in 2017 witnessed significant growth in spite of the prevailing challenges in the country’s banking sector.
Mr Robert Simple Atiiru, the Chairman of the bank, said this at the 28th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of the Bank held recent.
He said the depreciation of the Ghana cedi coupled with low investment rates has adversely affected the operations of the bank.
He said the bank accrued GH¢1,502,012.00 which exceeded the threshold of the minimum capital requirement for rural and community banks adding that key performance indicators recorded increment and positive results.
Mr Atiiru said total assets of the bank grew from GH¢29,540,303.00 in 2016 to GH¢34,412,787.00 in 2017, representing 16.5 percent increase while deposits also increased to GH¢28,361,645.00 from GH¢23,156,478.00 with short-term investment increasing by 48.8 percent.
He said “loans and advances increased by 3.2 percent from December 2016 to December 2017, with the total loan balance of GH¢15,263,699.00 representing 44.40 percent of the bank’s total assets.”
The Chairman said the bank accrued a net profit of GH¢804,495.00 and this represented 47.5 percent increase from previous year.
Mr Atiiru said the bank spent GH¢11,161.00 in 2017 on education, health and agriculture in their operational areas as part of its social responsibility efforts.
He said the strong performance of the bank was due to the “continuous patronage of our services by our loyal customers,” and added that pragmatic measures and strategies have been developed to make the services of the bank more and easily accessible to customers.
“The bank has secured ATM machines to be installed at the Navrongo and the Bolgatanga branches. This is to strengthen our operations by providing our cherished customers convenient access to their funds in other rural and community banks, ARB Apex Bank and some designated universal banks accross the country.”
As part of its strategic plan to increase deposits and make banking services easily accessible to potential clients, the Chairman said the board of the bank has extended its operations to the Sumbrungu community and its environs.
Madam Paulina Patience Abayage, the Upper East Regional Minister, commended the bank for the strides made in the banking sector and their contributions towards the economic empowerment of the people, especially women in their operational areas.
She said “I would want to encourage the management of the bank to consider partnering with respective district assemblies where the bank operates to provide credit for micro and small scale entrepreneurs to grow their businesses”.
Madam Abayage assured the management of the bank of the Regional Coordinating Council’s support on how to develop the bank.
The Naara Rural Bank Limited, first Rural and Community Bank to be established in Northern Ghana in 1981, currently has seven operational branches including Paga, its head office; Navrongo, Bolgatanga, Sirigu, Pelungu, Chiana and Tongo.