Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) have been urged to take deliberate steps to create the right control environment to minimize operational losses.

  Mr. Kojo Mattah, Managing Director (MD) of ARB Apex Bank, said it was vital for them to go the extra mile to make sure that there was financial and operational discipline.

  He added that the banks stayed and operated within their risk boundaries to avoid unnecessary mishaps as they worked to increase profitability.

  He was speaking at an annual general meeting of the shareholders of the Odotobri Rural Bank at Jacobu.

 Mr. Mattah identified human error, failure of internal processes and breakdown of internal control measures as factors accounting for the losses of many of the RCBs and said they needed to act firmly to deal with these.

 He also highlighted the need to address poor credit assessment and loan documentation, inadequate or lack of monitoring – generating non-performing loans.

 It must not be lost on anybody that high non-performing loans erode both liquidity and profitability.

 The MD of ARB Apex Bank counseled that they should be professional in everything they did and said this was important to prevent criminals from using their system to perpetuate fraud.

 He encouraged the RCBs to put premium on customer care and said it was a sure way to survive the intense competition in the banking industry.

 “There should be re-orientation of all staff to embrace excellence in customer services as a culture and not as a tool for doing business.”

  Mr. Bernard Asamoah-Boateng, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, told the owners of the bank that it made steady progress in all major areas of its operation.

  Total deposits rose to GHȼ68,545,698.34 from the 2015 figure of GHȼ62,339,229.00.

  Its investments also grew from GHȼ38,075,059.00 to GHȼ40,243,523.00 while advances hit GHȼ24,848,590.00 from GHȼ20,845,585.00.

  At the same time its assets climbed from GHȼ77,393,414.95 to GHȼ87,504,098.15 with the net profit shooting up to GHȼ3,960,144.00 from GHȼ3,679,414.00.

 Mr. Asamoah-Boateng indicated that the bank’ s share capital stood at GHȼ1,917,880.00 compared with the previous year’s figure of GHȼ1,208,949.00.

GNA