bankThe Bank of Ghana (BoG) has introduced an Electronic Financial Analysis and Surveillance System (eFASS) for banks to file their prudential returns on-line.

The measure would enable the Central Bank to carry out most of its supervisory duties on-line in order to promote and maintain the integrity of the banking industry.

The Managing Director of the ARB APEX Bank Limited, Mr Eric Osei-Bonsu, said this in an address read for him at the 24th Annual General Meeting of the Brakwa-Breman Rural Bank, at Brakwa, on Saturday. Mr Osei-Bonsu said it was now mandatory for rural banks to computerize their operations.

He, in this direction, said rural and community banks desirous of opening new agencies were now required to first automate their processes.

Mr Osei-Bonsu said the BoG has tasked all financial institutions to religiously implement the “know Your Customer rules” and urged the banks to be vigilant in their operations in order to prevent unscrupulous persons from using their banks to engage in fraudulent activities. He said in spite of the declined profit level, the bank performed creditably in some of the other financial performance indicators, adding that, during the year under review total assets increased by 7.0 percent.

Mr Osei-Bonsu said one of the main reasons for the drop in the profit level was the high default rate of loans advanced to the customers of the bank and appealed to customers with loan facilities to honour their responsibilities.

The chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank, Commander (Retired) Charles K. Addae, said the total assets of the bank increased from GHC1,877,684 in 2007 to GHC2,015,590 in 2008, an increase of 7.34 percent.

He, however, said the net profit before tax showed a decrease of 67.3 percent from 46,942 in 2007 to 15,339 in 2008, the lowest profit since 1990 because of the unfavourable economic environment. Commander Addae said the bank purchased Akuafo Cheques totalling GHC460,323.96 in 2008 as against GHC354,937.93 in 2007, an increase of 29.69 percent.

He said total deposits rose from GHC1,251,051 in 2007 to GHC1,413,367 in 2008, representing an increase of 12.08 percent.

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