The operations of 132 rural banks with 620 branches have so far been automated under the ARP Apex Bank?s computerisation programme, Mr. Duke Osam-Duodo, Acting Managing Director of ARP Apex Bank Limited, has said

Speaking at the 20th annual general meeting of the Abokobi Area Rural Bank (AARB), he admitted that the computerisation has come with a lot of operational challenges and high running costs; however, the Apex Bank has taken measures to resolve these problems including the upgrade of servers to high performance servers to support the back-end, and online transaction speed has been improved through fine-tuning.

He said ARP Apex Bank has been in the Western Union remittance business since 2008 and that 488 sites of the rural banks have been linked to the Western Union product.

He urged management of the Bank to invest in training programmes for its staff to improve on service delivery.

Mr. Osam-Duodo said there is need for management to build a good corporate image to ensure the loyalty of its customers and patronage of its product, since today?s banking is dependent on the provision of quality service.

Mr. Osam-Duodo appealed to management of the bank to sharpen their skills in Treasury management, improve their services on commission and fee-based products, and pursue all defaulting borrowers to settle their indebtedness to the bank.

He advised management of the bank to institute a risk management policy to identify and mitigate the incidence of risks which may adversely affect achievement of the bank?s objectives.

The bank recorded a profit after tax of GH?49,810 in 2011 compared with a loss of GH?68,269 in 2010, representing a percentage increase of 173.

Nii Afutu Brempong III, Board Chairman of AARB, said the profit of the bank as at May 2012 was over GH?103,000.00 — which is a remarkable achievement.

He said the bank?s investment portfolio increased by 15.8 percent to GH?1,088,374.00 over the previous year?s of GH?939,853.00 and is bent on channelling more funds into that area to earn more interest for the bank.

He stressed that the banks stated capital increased from GH?180,670.00 in 2010 to GH?182,616.00; adding that the board has embarked on a programme to raise more funds into that area.

Nii Brempong III called on all recalcitrant loan defaulters? — especially non-salaried beneficiaries — to pay their arrears to avoid embarrassment.

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