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New regulations are changing the playing field for all businesses

From Hong Kong to London, to Singapore and now Stockholm. With experience from working at global banks in financial centres across the globe. Linda Jansson has gained a deep understanding of the banking industry. Today, she works in SEB’s Privacy Office, as its Operating Manager. She explains why this area is crucial for the bank’s growth.  

– I’ve never had a planned out career. I am always curious to learn new things, love deconstructing complex topics and working in a team. I joined SEB in 2011 as an Internal Auditor in the then Merchant Banking team. When the opportunity arose to join Client Coverage to work with risk and regulatory topics in 2014, I thought it would be interesting to be part of the bank’s journey in complying with the tsunami of new regulations that came after the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, I have had great support from my manager and colleagues which eventually led me to my current position.  

Just eight years after joining SEB, Linda was given the responsibility of building a new area within the bank – the SEB Privacy Office, which focuses solely on privacy regulations that affect the entire SEB Group. The Privacy Office team, consisting of ten people, is responsible for setting the organisational, risk and process framework for complying with data protection laws and regulations where SEB operates.  

The journey of building the SEB Privacy Office 

– When setting the strategy, you must start by understanding the current state, our abilities and business plans before identifying the strategy and deliverables. The solutions must also be resilient so that they can adapt when the regulatory landscape changes. From the beginning, we started with borrowed resources from other parts of the bank but organically grew to recruiting more people with different profiles that bring a variety of competencies and experiences. Some team members have skills in project management and transformational leadership, while others have risk-, control- and process-oriented profiles.  

– We work with 24 people-appointed privacy specialists in the different business areas and offices in the network who coordinate, support and advise their businesses on the various data protection work. They work closely with the Privacy Office and act as a bridge or conduit to ensure that all parts of the bank work with privacy. Together, we bring different perspectives and try to find new solutions to topics as our external environment is always changing.  

Why is complying to privacy so important for the bank?  

– Protecting personal information plays an important role when talking about SEB’s role in society. As we’re becoming more data-driven, we need to ensure that we still respect people’s rights by using their information properly. Our clients trust us, and with that trust comes respect and responsibility. 

– Regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are society’s way of levelling the playing field when it comes to using personal data – making sure every company treats people’s personal information with integrity. The risk, as we have seen with companies being fined repeatedly, is that trust erodes. It takes years to build trust that could be lost in just a second.  

– I see regulatory implementation work as a type of business development. Regulations change the rulebook for how society wants businesses to act and all industries must adapt and evolve. Being part of that journey is more exciting and rewarding than you might think. You get to learn, be creative and work with different colleagues and perspectives to achieve a common goal.  

Where would you like to see the privacy area in the future? 

– We operate in a highly regulated sector of society so in many ways we are better prepared because we have always prioritised data protection. Everything we do in the bank is about clients, which means every day we have an opportunity to show clients that we care about the information they entrust us with and their right to privacy. Every SEB colleague can make a difference.  

Meet some of our employees

You have to be in the forefront

In her role as Internal Management Consultant at SEB Way, Malena Lundin works with accelerating the implementation of SEB’s business plan. Being curious and open to learning new things is key in this complex role, which requires a broad knowledge base and team effort to succeed.   

Digitising bit by bit

Different information is constantly travelling throughout all parts of the bank. Ensuring the quality of this data is crucial for building a digital future, one step at a time. “If this type of data was not reliable, this wouldn’t be a bank with 150 years of history”, says Head of Information Quality Management Arvydas Kasparas.