Shama — The Lower Pra Rural Bank Limited at Shama in the Shama District of the Western Region recorded a profit before tax of GHȻ1,158,431.00 in the 2018 financial year.
This represent an increase of 4.31 per cent over the profit before tax recorded the previous year.
The chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Francis Mensah, who disclosed this at the bank's 31st annual general meeting here at the weekend, said the bank also recorded a total income of GHȻ28,254,315.00 and a total expenditure of GHȻ27,094,884.00, leaving a balance of GHȻ1, 158,431.00.
In view of the sterling performance the bank recorded last year, Mr Mensah said the Board of Directors recommended a dividend of GHȻ0.20 per share.
"The amount to be paid to shareholders as dividends for 2018 is GHȻ820,398.20 and represents a 34 per cent increase over the previous year's dividend of GHȻ611, 817.90," the Board Chairman said.
He said the Lower Pra Rural Bank, was the only bank that paid the highest dividends of 20 pesewas per share to its shareholders last year.
Mr Mensah said the bank's Microfinance and Susu Scheme under the Women in Development Project (WID) which started in 1992 in partnership with Freedom from Hunger (FFH) were doing well and had been decentralised to be managed by the branches.
He said the WID with a membership of 253 and a total savings of GHȻ23, 622.35 last year granted loans to the tune of GHȻ195, 000 and the Susu Scheme with total savings of GHȻ1, 277, 225.00 disbursed loans totalling GHȻ5, 108, 900.00 as at December 31st 2018.
Mr Pledged that the bank was ready to partner government in the implementation of its policy programmes particularly the One Constituency, One Million Dollar project.
Madam Lucy Quansah who spoke for ARB APEX Bank Limited commended the management of the rural bank for working so hard to improve on the fortunes of the bank.
She said so far 73 ATMs have been installed in rural banks nationwide adding that banks should apply for the ATMs for them to meet the target of 10 ATMs before the end of 2019.
Madam Quansah appealed to other rural banks to emulate the shining example of the Lower Pra Rural Bank to make rural banks the preferred banking houses.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lower Pra Rural Bank Limited, Mr Isaac Kwamina Afful said efforts were being made to automate all the operations of the bank to prevent queues in the bank.
He appealed to customers who have contracted loans to settle their indebtedness to the bank.