The net profit before tax of Lower Pra Rural Bank Limited dropped from GH¢2 million in 2012, to GH¢1 million in 2013, Nathaniel Arthur, Chairman of the Board of Directors, disclosed at the bank’s 26th Annual General Meeting at Shama.
Mr. Arthur pointed out that 2013 was challenging to all Rural Banks in the country, and said the reduction in profit was the result of non-payment of loans.
He said payment of school feeding loans also contributed greatly to the overdue loans, and that the bank hoped to recover all overdue loans.
He said the bank’s partnership with Freedom from Hunger (FFH) to establish the Women in Development (WID) project in 1992, is aimed at developing savings culture among members.
Mr. Arthur said as at December 31, 2013, 167 Credit and Savings Associations have been formed with a total membership of 2,505, while the bank granted loans totaling GH¢2.5 million s to women groups in the year under review.
He said total savings stood at 229,645 Ghana Cedis, while total deposits increased from GH¢37.3 million in 2012 to GH¢42 million in 2013.
He expressed concerns about the failure of some customers to service their loans, to enable the bank to extend credit to other customers, warning that the bank would vigorously pursue loan defaulters with all measures to recover overdue loans.
Manager of General Services, Kwadwo Aye Kusi, Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank Limited, appealed to the management of the bank to sharpen their treasury management skills, and improve the bank’s services on commission and free-based products.
He said management must also develop more products that are demand-oriented to diversify the bank’s income streams, and ensure the loans portfolio remained healthy to enable the bank extend loans to more customers in order to raise the level of profitability.