Lower Pra Rural Bank makes gains?

The Lower Pra Rural Bank made considerable gains from its investments in Government and Bank of Ghana securities before the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).

Specific policy reforms, which enhanced the bank’s performance were interest-rate liberalisation, decontrol of credit allocation, and the removal of non-performing assets to the Non-Performing Assets Recovery Trust.

However, major financial regulations that depressed the banks performance were the high level of secondary and primary reserve requirements. 

Also loan recovery generally appeared to remain a problem even though loan applications were better appraised.

‘It is clear that a lot of work has to been done in this area through more pro-active monitoring and supervision of borrowers,’ Ms Aba Dawood, the Board Chairperson of the Bank, said during the 36th Annual General Meeting on Friday.

The bank, she noted, was adopting tech-tools to advance its operations as E-banking was being introduced to transact banking business across the country

During the period under review the bank’s total deposits increased from GHc 183.89m in 2022 to GHc 236.1m in 2023, representing an increase of 28 per cent.

It offered advances to its numerous customers in the form of sundry loans, group loans, loans to salaried workers, overdrafts, consumer goods, and vehicle and building loans.

The advances outstanding under the lending programme in 2023 totalled GHc 101 million as against GHc 93,42 million in 2022, representing nine per cent increase.

The Pra Rural Bank made a provision for bad and doubtful debts amounting to GHc 1,855,514.00 for the year under review.

Ms Dawood said the bank would not relent on its effort in recovering all advances, as a result of which some ‘recalcitrant loan defaulters’ had been sent to court.

‘We wish to assure our shareholders that other more drastic measures will be put in place to recover our overdue loans,’ she said.

‘The bank is continuously pursuing its policy of prudent investment to maximize returns on shareholders fund

The total investment in near cash securities as at December 31, 2023, was GHc 110.3 million as against GHc 67.6 million in 2022 representing 93 percent increase.

The demand for the bank’s shares had also increased due to its enhanced corporate image, while the good returns on shareholders’ funds was contributing to the high demand for its shares. 

The Board Chair encouraged shareholders whose shareholdings were small to endeavour to buy more shares to earn increased benefits from their investments. 

The total assets as at December 31, 2023, amounted to GHc 255.9 million as against GHc 201.9 million in 2022, an increase of 26.75 percent. 

The growth in the Total Assets conforms to the Bank’s sustainable growth rate policy.

Its profitability increases by 113 percent over the previous year.

On social investment for operating areas and elsewhere, the bank reported of investment in school, health and other community-initiated projects.

Its scholarship scheme had benefitted some 2,380 with a total invet
erate package of 4, 760,000 cedis.

Mr Isaac Afful, the Out-going Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, entreated the workers to hold high the pillars of discipline and proper internal control measures that had sustained the organisation’s fortunes.

Source: Ghana News Agency