Communicating integrated thinking category
DBS, with its heritage as The Development Bank of Singapore, sees its purpose as ‘Making Banking Joyful’ for customers, employees and society at large. It believes that an integrated report is the best way of conveying how it creates and distributes long-term value while considering its impact on society and the environment.
The bank felt it didn’t have a consistent framework for articulating its value creation which would interest, excite, or explain itself to stakeholders. While the bank used a balanced scorecard approach to measure how successfully it was serving multiple stakeholders and driving the execution of its long-term strategy, it felt the need for a better way of articulating its integrated thinking and to explain why it was going to be around in the long term.
By using integrated reporting, later supported by the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) guidelines, as a consistent framework for external reporting, the bank aims to provide investor insight on strategy and its business model. Internally, the framework also helps the bank to systematically consider and communicate the matters most material to value creation. It was a way of thinking that has brought all parts of the bank together to generate value. The bank has taken a journey of continuous improvement of its report, with the latest being its innovative approach to the use of capital.
There were many challenges. The bank found that aligning internal stakeholders’ thinking towards a common reporting framework that looks at value creation from the perspective of external stakeholders was not an easy task. The internal benefits of integrated reporting came before the external benefits.
The communication of integrated thinking is clearly helping DBS on its mission to sustain long-term value creation. This is achieved through innovation, building bridges and using integrated reporting as a frame of reference. By using a consistent framework it is considering the need to focus on investor insight while ensuring the most material matters are communicated.