An exploratory study of intangibles risk disclosure in annual reports of banking companies from the UK, US, Germany and Italy – Some descriptive insights


Intangibles are viewed as the key drivers in most industries, and current research shows that firms voluntarily disclose information about their investments in intangibles and their potential benefits. Yet little is known of the risks relating to such resources and the disclosures firms make about such risks. In order to obtain a more balanced and complete picture of firms’ activities, information about the risky side of their intangibles is also needed. This exploratory study provides some descriptive insights into intangibles-related risk disclosure in a sample of 16 large banks from the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Germany and Italy. Annual report data is analyzed using the three Intellectual Capital dimensions. Study findings illustrate the variety of intangibles-related risk disclosure as demonstrated by the banks involved.


Keywords: Intangibles, risks related to intangibles, risk reporting, disclosure, banking sector, content analysis

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