While the financial statements and audit report can be seen as the core of the annual report, the AR nowadays contains much other useful information, apart from the requirements of national company law and stock exchanges/regulatory agencies where the bank’s shares are listed.
Most influential are:
When a company produces an annual report that goes beyond the requirements of company law to include the pronouncements of the International Integrated Reporting Council on matters such as Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance it is said to be producing an integrated annual report.
In recent years it has become the norm for banks to produce unaudited standalone “Sustainability Reports”, containing vast amounts of environmental, social and governance material. Typically, this is not reconciled to the financial statements in the regular annual report – but this will likely change in the next few years.
In the following example, we reproduce important extracts from the Integrated Annual Report 2021 from Capitec, one of the world’s most successful retail-only banks.