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12 October 2016

Microfin Rural Bank sees 184% growth

EcobankMicrofin Rural Bank (MRB) recorded an impressive 184 percent growth in the 2015 operational year with a profit of GHC142, 723 compared to the loss of GHC 170, 916 that was registered in the previous year.

The bank’s interest income and total net income also surged by 112 percent and 85 percent respectively, aside recording significant growth in other key operational areas including total deposits, short-term investments and stated capital.

About 60 percent of the bank’s loans and advances went to micro-businesses in rural areas within its catchment area especially agri-business with women being the most beneficiaries.

Board chairman, Dr. Victor Antwi, disclosed the figures at the bank’s third annual general meeting held at Gomoa Pomadze in the Central Region.

Microfin Rural Bank, which is in its third year of operations, is currently ranked 51st out of the 134 rural banks in the country, a feat that the board chairman attributed to management’s strong commitment to improve financial performance and service delivery to its cherished clients.

Dr. Antwi indicated that the bank will continue to build on this performance by leveraging technology to facilitate the provision of convenient and innovative products that meets the demands of clients.

He said MRB will continue to forge strategic partnerships with organisations that are committed to alleviating rural poverty through the delivery of appropriate and innovative microfinance services to improve livelihoods in rural communities, especially those in agriculture using the value chain financing approach.

He said: “I wish to reiterate that the future of MRB is bright given the many positive strides that the bank has achieved barely three years into its operations.”

“Going forward, management is determined to introduce digital financing to scale-up its savings group linkages.”

Managing Director of the bank, Ishmael Kwesi Otchere, in an interview with the B&FT, touted the impressive performance of the bank as a bright prospect adding that management will now be challenged to work hard to sustain the growth.

He indicated: “Generally, our performance for last year has not been bad at all for a bank that is in its early stages and with all the challenges of competition and loss of faith in the banking sector.

We were able to improve all the indicators and made profit in the third year of operations; and this throws us the task to work hard to maintain this impressive rate of growth.

“Agriculture has always been an area that banks will not want to touch because of so many genuine factors but we believe there are ways that those risks could be minimised.

“MRB has a strategy that considers all our actors/clients in the entire agriculture value chain and so we are able to better serve them.”

The bank presented various items including washing bowls and branded souvenirs to deserving savings groups that were diligent and very effective with their savings in the year under review.

Mr. Otchere shared the rationale behind that gesture: “At Microfin Rural Bank, one of our core value is to be customer-centric; if we can grow to the level we want, it’s all about the customers.

“As a bank, almost all our clients are shareholders and so we decided to reward and appreciate them as a way of instigating competition among the various savings groups.”

Source: thebftonline

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