Despite prevailing economic challenges during the 2021 financial year, Nandom Rural Bank (NRB) was able to maintain a very strong financial position – reflected by the growth in key indicators.
The bank saw its pre-tax profit rise by 144 percent over the previous year to reach GH¢1.09million. This was a reversal of its performance in 2020, when the bank made a loss of GH¢2.47million.
This was disclosed by the Board Chairman of NRB, Firmino Bergyire Aasoyir, at the 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank in the Upper West Region, where he indicated that measures aimed at reducing cost were crucial for the bank’s 2021 performance.
This was echoed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mashuud Zakaria Dumbu, who stated that the prudent use of earnings assets and the retrieval of some locked-up investments added to the change in fortunes for the bank.
“The bank effectively used its earnings assets to generate considerable income, and implemented cost reduction strategies during the 2021 financial year. The bank was also able to retrieve a portion of the locked-up investment fund during 2021, and processes are ongoing to retrieve the rest of the fund. In fact, at present my understanding is that the funds have been retrieved. I thank the Board and Management for working hard to retrieve funds. This will go a long way to better the bank’s fortunes,” he explained.
He indicated that the added liquidity from the retrieved funds, coupled with an 8.02 percent rise in deposits to GH¢27.5million, allowed for disbursing loans of GH¢5.3million to Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) mostly operating in the agriculture value chain.
Mr. Dumbu, speaking on the sidelines with B&FT, said these factors contributed to NRB being honoured with various awards for its contribution toward the economy – with awards such as the ‘Best Profitable Bank in Ghana’ and ‘Best Bank Apex Instant Pay’ (GIP) in 2021.
Touching on origins of the bank – which was established in 1981 with five staff but now has 58 across six branches in Wa municipal, Lambussie, Sissala West, Wa East, Wa West and headquarters in Nandom – the CEO said it will continue to support small businesses.
The Wa Branch Manager of Apex Bank, Michael Nyarko, encouraged rural and community banks to develop innovative and tailor-made products to satisfy their customers.
“ARB Apex Bank resolves to continue partnering with the rural banks to develop more innovative and tailor-made products to meet the satisfaction of esteemed customers,” he remarked.
The Municipal Chief Executive of Nandom, Raymond Nero, urged the bank’s board and management not to be pessimistic about the current economic challenges to spotting growth opportunities in the area. “Prudent management of depositors’ funds is key to efficient performance of the bank in these trying times, since depositors’ funds are the lifeblood of every financial institution,” he said.
He commended management of the bank for their commitment to supporting smallholder farmers as well as SMEs with capital and other incentives to inject into their businesses.
By Juliet Etefe