SEB’s sustainability summary – lending to corporates

This sustainability summary is a sector initiative developed by the Swedish Bankers' Association in order to give an insight into how banks take sustainability into account in their lending to corporates.

1. Our view on sustainability

For SEB, sustainability is about creating long-term value together with our clients, to identify risks and opportunities, and to understand the consequences of our advice and decisions, from an economic, social and environmental perspective. SEB's sustainability work is focused on three areas – Responsible Business, People and Community and Environment. We pursue sustainability issues that are relevant and important for us as a bank and for the markets in which we operate.

2. Sustainability in the credit process

 SEB's credit policies reflect the Bank's approach to sustainability and the applicable policies and commitments that we adhere to (see point 3). We use our policies in dialogue with customers as part of our credit granting process.  

Sustainability criteria: In our credit granting we take into account the risks and opportunities related to:

  • Environment: climate, waste, effluents, emissions, bio-diversity and resource usage.
  • Social responsibility: respect for human rights, working conditions, as well as good community relations.
  • Governance: structure and processes for risk management and corporate governance, avoidance of conflicts of interest and prevention of corruption.

One of SEB's main contributions to a sustainable society is responsible credit granting, which includes the loan amount to be limited to the customer's repayment capacity. SEB takes on risks only to create customer value and long-term shareholder value. Our risk culture is based on long experience, strong customer relations and sound banking principles.

We engage with our corporate clients on a regular basis around sustainability issues and especially with corporates that conduct business with significant impact on the environment and/or the society. Our aim is to understand our clients' strengths and weaknesses as well as their challenges and opportunities, so that we can be the business partners they need.

We want to contribute to the change that is necessary to achieve the globally agreed goals on sustainable development, the UN's global development goals, and we are following the development of reporting recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. To a large extent, we do this (contribute to the change) through supporting our customers in their work by offering sound financing and investment solutions.

SEB's total credit portfolio comprises SEK 2,316 billion, of which SEK 1,172 billion are credits to companies.

SEB's credit portfolio 2018

  • Corporates: 51 %
  • Households: 27 %
  • Commercial real estate management: 8 %
  • Residential real estate management: 5 %
  • Banks: 4 %
  • Public administration: 2 %
  • Housing co-op associations: 3 %

Corporate credit portfolio by industry 2018

  • Manufacturing: 21 %
  • Business and households services: 20 %
  • Finance and insurance: 16 %
  • Wholesale and retail: 11 %
  • Electricity, gas and water supply: 8 %
  • Shipping: 6 %
  • Transportation: 6 %
  • Mining, oil and gas extraction: 4 %
  • Other: 3 %
  • Construction: 3 %
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing: 2 %

3. Sustainability related commitments and policies

We have committed to the following international commitments of importance to our credit granting process

In addition to these international commitments, SEB has the following policies:

Code of Conduct, Corporate Sustainability Policy, Environmental Policy and Human Rights Policy, and three position statements regarding Child Labour, Freshwater and Climate Change as well as six sector policies; Arms and Defence, Forestry, Fossil Fuels, Mining and Metals, Renewable Energy and Shipping.

4. Our focus areas regarding sustainability issues in our lending

We are in a continuous dialogue with our corporate clients about sustainability issues. In addition, SEB offers the following products:

  • Green loans where we through green bonds obtain funding from the capital market ear-marked to corporate lending to green initiatives in the area of ​​sustainability. To ensure quality, all green loans must meet our Green Bond Framework. 
  • Green Car leasing and Eco-renovation in the Baltics.

In accordance with international conventions:

  • We do not grant loans to companies that have activities linked to controversial weapons such as cluster weapons, anti-personnel mines, biological or chemical weapons.
  • We do not finance nuclear weapons and do not initiate any new business relationships with companies involved in nuclear weapons programs or with companies that have large operations in coal mining.
  • We do not finance new coal plants unless carbon dioxide separation technology is being used.
  • We do not provide financial products or services to activities having a negative impact on the sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List or national parks and nature reserves.