Mr. Duke Osam-Duodu, acting Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, on Friday announced that the bank has introduced a new product known as "Loan Protection Scheme" for rural banks to stimulate management of their loan portfolios.
He said the Apex Bank has collaborated with Star Microfinance Services, an Insurance Company to develop the product to reduce loan default rates that bedevils rural banks.
Mr. Osam-Duodu made these known when he addressed 35th Annual General Meeting of shareholders of Nyakrom Rural Bank at Agona Bobikuma .
He said under the scheme, in the event of death or disability of the borrower, the insurance company pays the outstanding balance on the loan plus one month interest to the rural bank.
Mr. Osam-Duodu said the insurance company also pays extra benefit of 500 Ghana Cedis to the next-of-kin of the deceased borrower.
He said the "liability of the insurance company ceases when the loan matures as agreed at the inception of the loan".
Mr. Osam-Duodu appealed to rural banks to take advantage of the product to enable them to reduce their loan default rate. He asked banks to regularly train their staff to exposes them to modern day banking.
Mr. Osam-Duodu said the Apex bank has lobbied Danish government for funds to assist in the payment of consultancy services of rural banks that had intended to merge with sister banks.
Mr. Timothy E. Osam-Duodu, Chairman of the board of Directors of Nyakrom Rural Bank, said the bank increased profit from 1,285,557 Ghana Cedis in 2010 to 1,554,016 Ghana Cedis in 2011.
He said the bank also granted loans and advances of 2, 741,915 Ghana Cedis in 2010 and 3,336,624 Ghana Cedis in 2011 while customers' deposits grew by 35.3 percent from 4,503,815 in 2010 to 6,094,758 Ghana Cedis in 2011.
Mr. Timothy E. Osam-Duodu said the disbursement of funds to women in development groups, increased from 1,389,350 Ghana Cedis in 2010 to 2,605, 850 Ghana Cedis in 2011, an appreciable increment of 87.6 per cent.
He said the bank disbursed 68,000 Ghana Cedis to 181 cocoa farmers in its catchment area in 2011 and hoped that the amount would be doubled in 2012/13.