Cyber security and crime prevention

Digitalisation is affecting every aspect of banking, and in a digital world. Stability and reliability of the bank’s IT platform is crucial. Interruptions or any kind of breaches into the systems can cause major problems, both for customers, suppliers and employees. 

SEB works in a structured way to protect the bank from money laundering attempts, cyber-attacks, sabotage, intrusion attempts, crime and  financing of terrorism. We work at various levels with the aim to increase the bank’s resilience against cyber threats. Our ambition is to be in tune with existing threats and in line with regulatory requirements. We have moved from being reactive and monitoring our internal IT environments and preventing attacks, into proactively building knowledge about potential threats, existing in other markets and taking a holistic perspective on security issues.

 We focus on three key areas:

  • Fraud prevention, -detection and -response
  • Actions to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism
  • Compliance with government sanctions against criminal suspects

Cyber crime and ID theft

Cyber crime can be described as criminal activity that involves the Internet, a computer system, or computer technology. Examples include computer viruses, phishing, vishing and identity theft. Financial institutions are a prime target, even though a shift has been seen toward online merchants, as security efforts within the financial sector have had a deterrent effect on cyber criminals’ ambitions.

Combating money laundering

SEB puts great effort into combating money laundering. In our daily work, we come across deviations that we look into and, if a suspicion of money laundering arises, report to the financial police. The fact that we are able to identify these deviations shows that SEB has effective systems, routines and processes in place, to prevent the bank from being exploited in connection with financial crime.

The basis for combating money laundering is a sound know-your-customer (KYC) process. We abide by European Union legislation on anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer. In addition, we apply enhanced due diligence for customers, products and countries where there is an increased risk for the bank being exploited for money laundering and financing of terrorism.

SEB’s ability to prevent and report suspect cases of financial crimes has been strengthened over time. The legal framework has gradually been tightened up, the awareness has increased and the bank’s routines, processes and systems have continuously been improved. Furthermore, SEB is continuously investing in both relevant competence and new technology in order to strengthen the bank’s resilience. Still SEB, like other banks, cannot guarantee that it has not and will not be exploited in connection with financial crime.

Training of employees

Awareness among employees is key in our efforts to prevent crime. SEB offers various trainings for employees, including an education package with e-learning, films and working material. Four digital training sessions are mandatory for all employees – the Code of Conduct (including work against corruption), Anti-money laundering, Prevention of fraud and Cyber security. All new employees must complete these sessions within the first three months of employment. Existing employees are required to complete them every three years.

Whistleblowing process

SEB has an established whistleblowing process. Most reports of suspected irregularities are still made to local managers. Reports are also regularly made to the Head of Compliance and Head of Internal Audit, mostly via telephone or the specific email address. Notifications come from employees, but complaints also come from customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. It is possible to raise issues anonymously by an encrypted e-mail address.

All reported incidents or circumstances are promptly investigated and, when applicable, reported to the bank’s CEO and the Audit and Compliance Committee.

Read more about SEB's Whistleblowing process