Dividend per share, however, went up to 36 per cent in 2013 over that of 2012, Mr Kwame Awuah Asante, outgoing Chairman of the bank, announced this at the 26th annual general meeting of the bank at Agona Nkwanta.
He said total assets in 2013 amounted to GH? 39,578,360 in 2013 as against GH? 37,161,673 in 2012, an increase of 6. 5 per cent.
Mr Asante said total income increased from GH? 8,498,981 in 2012 to GH? 10,559,564 in 2013 while deposits also increased from GH? 31,351,163 in 2012 to GH? 31,916,113 in 2013.
He said Ahabank, the bank’s subsidiary company dealing in consumer goods, made a turnover of GH? 254,703 in 2013 and GH? 229,419 in 2012.
Mr Asanta said Ahabank made profit before tax of GH? 44,329 in 2013 as against GH? 9,477 in 2012.
He said during the year under review, the bank focused its social responsibility on improving basic education in Ahanta West District and in collaboration with the District Office of Ghana Education Service (GES).
The bank also funded a mock examination for public and private junior high schools in the district at a cost of GH? 11,000 as against GH? 13,918 in 2012.
Mr Asante said currently, 106 brilliant but needy students are receiving assistance from the bank, while the financial entity spent GH? 38,000 on educational assistance programme in 2013 as against GH? 40,282 in 2012.
Mr Kwadwo Aye Kusi, Managing Director of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) Apex Bank, said Rural and Community Banks (RCB) still need to do more by way of organisational and operational transformation.
He said the transformation is needed in the areas of ICT, effective deposit and share mobilisation, cost control, improved credit delivery, customer satisfaction, risk management and compliance.
Mr Kusi said competition is normal and inevitable in the banking industry and one sure way to do so is to improve customer service delivery to attract new customers and maintain the existing ones.
He said the number one priority of RCBs should be making sure customers are satisfied with their products and services and on-going correspondence with them and “by so doing, you secure the lifeblood of your business”.
Mr Kusi said RCBs must endeavour to build a good corporate image to ensure the loyalty of existing customers and also win the confidence and trust of new ones.
He said the time when bankers sit in the comfort of their offices for customers to walk in and deposit monies is long gone.
Mr Kusi said the influx of Nigerian banks in Ghana and emergence of 447 microfinance institutions, some of which operate in the catchment areas of RCBs, have made deposit mobilisation very competitive.
He said it is, therefore, imperative for RCBs to adopt pragmatic strategies in mobilising deposits at lesser cost in order to continue to stay afloat.
Mr Kusi said the banking landscape is changing with respect to regulation, technology, competition, governance and customer expectations and RCBs are expected to promptly respond to these changes through new and improved products and services.
He asked the Ahantaman Rural Bank Limited to remain focused, identify social intervention projects within its catchment areas that could improve the well-being of the people especially in the areas of health, education and employment.