ComBank wins 4 awards at world’s largest annual report competition

The 2021 Annual Report of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon has won four awards including a Gold and a Bronze at the latest edition of the MerComm ARC Awards, the world’s largest annual report competition. The Bank has been adjudged winner of the Gold Award for ‘Interior Design,’ the Bronze for ‘Interactive Annual Report’ in the ‘Integrated AR & CSR: Non-Traditional Format’ category, and two Honours Awards for ‘Written Text’ and ‘Chairman’s/President’s Letter’ under the ‘Regional Banks’ category.

The ARC awards – dubbed “the Academy Awards of Annual Reports” – recognise the success of Commercial Bank’s Annual Report in communicating the company’s story and were based on values such as creativity, clarity, effectiveness, and excellence and not on corporate profitability or production values.

“For any public listed entity, the Annual Report is the most important communications tool to demonstrate transparency, accountability, governance and performance,” Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO Sanath Manatunge commented. “At Commercial Bank, producing the Annual Report has become a fine art, which is borne out by the many accolades our Annual Reports have won over the years. The latest ARC award is a prestigious addition to this collection and is a great source of encouragement to the team that produces the Annual Report.”

Commercial Bank’s 2021 Annual Report titled ‘Beyond a shape, beyond a colour’ explored the changing landscape of the banking industry that witnesses incessant consumer demand for enhanced banking experiences, a surge in disruptive technologies, evolving operational context where social and environmental concerns are included in the corporate agenda, and new opportunities and possibilities.

It was produced by Smart Media as an Integrated Annual Report that is GHG-neutral. The letter from Justice K. Sripavan, the Bank’s Chairman at that time, reflected on the resilience of the Bank in the backdrop of a challenging year. The story in text format, while adhering to the overall theme of the year, also traces the Bank’s organisational overview, opinions of members in top management, operating environment, business model for sustainable value creation, and governance and risk management strategies, in addition to the financial report.

Commercial Bank’s annual reports have consistently been recognised with local and regional awards for many years. The Bank won four awards for its 2020 Annual Report at the CA Sri Lanka Awards of 2021, including its 16th Edmund J. Cooray Memorial Trophy for the Best Annual Report among Banking Institutions since 2000. It was also the 16th occasion that the Bank was ranked among the top three companies in Sri Lanka overall for financial reporting.

The ARC Awards, established by MerComm, Inc. in 1987, were created to honour overall excellence in annual reports, and to encourage noteworthy and vital writing, as well as imaginative and original design. Some of the elements that were considered in the judging of the annual reports include cover design, president’s letter, interior design, clarity of written text, presentation of corporate information, expression of financial data, and how well the spirit of the organisation is communicated. This year, the ARCs received 1,656 entries from 33 countries. MerComm, Inc. is the world’s only independent awards organisation, founded with the mission to advance the standards of excellence in the fields of corporate communications.

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