Michigan's Franklin Bank has scored a touchdown with its 1994 annual report.

In the vein of nontraditional annual reports that are coming into vogue among Amercia's corporations (McDonald's Corp. has produced annual reports that look like The Wall Street Journal), Franklin's annual sets new standards.

The $426 million-asset Southfield, Mich., commercial bank designed and produced an annual that looks - right down to the newsprint and the full- color pictures of muddy football players - like a sports tabloid.

Titled "1994 Review: Sticking to the Game Plan," the annual features profiles on head coaches (chairman and CEO), assistant coaches (senior vice presidents), and new recruits (new hires.) There's a summary of game statistics (ROA, equity growth, etc.) and pithily written articles on alternative delivery systems and noninterest income. Instead of "Management's Discussion and Analysis" it has a "Coaches' Discussion and Analysis."

Franklin's annual may be nutty, but it's also an easily read and engaging review of a financial institution's performance.

At least that's what the ARC Awards thought. Competing with 700 entries from 15 countries, tiny Franklin received three annual report awards, including one in the "nontraditional" category.

"The response has been very positive," said Lisa Hudy, vice president of Communications at Franklin. "Only a few people have really hated it, but with this kind of thing you either love it or hate it."

What did the bank's outside accountants think of the idea? "They took it better than we thought they would."

Ms. Hudy said the bank saved about $20,000 in per-unit costs from 1993's annual because it was printed on newspaper stock, reducing printing and mailing costs.

* * *

Vectra Banking Corp., a fast-growing Denver community bank, won the Financial Services Company of the Year Award from the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry.

The association said Vectra was chosen because of its aggressive strategy. The $488 million-asset bank went public in 1994, and has since been buying up other small banks. The group also cited Vectra employees' involvement in a variety of community projects and sponsorships.

"We are honored to be selected," said Gary Judd, chief executive. "It is especially gratifying, given the respect we have for past winners." US West and Public Service Co. of Colorado have both won the award in the past.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.