Human rights

SEB is committed to doing ethical business. We base our work on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These influence our relations with both customers, employees, suppliers and portfolio companies. 

We believe in children’s, women’s and men’s equal rights and that diversity is a resource that shall be supported, respected and utilised. Equal rights and opportunities shall be irrespective of gender, national or ethnic origin, religion or belief, age, transgender identity or expression, sexual orientation or disability.

We commit to regulations, international agreements, guidelines and human rights initiatives, trying to enhance our positive impact on human rights aspects in everything that we do. We aim to avoid causing, contributing to, or being linked to adverse human rights impact, and we strive to identify and assess areas within human rights where we can potentially have negative impact through our business relations.

Based on prioritisation, proportionality and leverage, we act on findings to prevent, mitigate and remediate potential impact. Human rights aspects are also considered in SEB’s product development and offerings as well as in procurement decisions along with commercial aspects.

Interaction in our business

Within asset management, SEB’s funds do not invest in companies that fail to respect international conventions and guidelines, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We engage directly in dialogues with companies’ managements and boards of directors regarding how to make improvements in issues related to human rights. 100 per cent of SEB’s own funds are managed with human rights criteria.

We perform engagement dialogues by ourselves and in collaboration with other investors such as through PRI Clearinghouse and Hermes Equity Ownership Services, an international leader in engaging companies in dialogue. We also actively participate, via our voting rights as shareholders, in annual general meetings and have engagement dialogues regarding human rights issues, such as within access to medicine and human rights in the extractive sector.

Within financing, we regularly discuss human rights issues with customers to understand their challenges and opportunities, thus making appropriate credit considerations, providing better advice and becoming a better business partner. We work to identify possible negative human rights impact both in our own operations and in business relationships.

Right to privacy 

The right to privacy is a universal human right and the trust of our customers is based on respect for and protection of their privacy. SEB is working actively to be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU reformed data protection legislation which has strengthened individuals’ rights in terms of how their data is handled by companies. This is an important part of what we as a bank take into account in the relationship with our customers. 

In SEB, we always treat the information that our customers entrust us with in a careful and responsible manner. Our privacy policy explains, among other things, which of the personal data we process, why we process them, how we collect them and how long we save the data. Read more about this in Information on processing personal data (in Swedish).

For our selection of suppliers, we have established routines for various areas that we evaluate, including human rights, labour rights and social relations. These aspects are considered in procurement, along with the commercial aspects.

Since 2013 we have a Human Rights Policy and also our Code of Conduct describes parts of this work.

We commit to regulations, international agreements and human rights initiatives, including:
  • The UN Global Compact
  • The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The ILO Core Conventions on Labour Standards
  • The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • Children’s Rights and Business Principles
  • The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises


Read our Human Rights Policy.