SEB's 2019 in brief

Increased customer satisfaction and a solid result

“Our strategic decision to further invest in our business has resulted in a higher transformational pace, improved customer satisfaction and stronger financial results.”

You can find the full statement from the president and CEO, Johan Torgeby, in the annual report.
Read the annual report of 2019
Read and download SEB's full annual reporting 2019

The year in figures

Return on equity

13.8 %

excluding items affecting comparability

Cost/income ratio


Earnings per share

9.33 SEK

Dividend per share

6.25 SEK

Important events and trends

The global economy was fragile but gradually stabilised while central banks’ quantitative easing continued. At the end of the year, the Swedish central bank ended a five-year period of negative interest rates.

Corporate customers were active with high demand for advisory services, banking and capital market financing.

Financial institutions handled the challenging interest rate environment with caution, while demand for illiquid investments increased.

Private customers’ demand for household mortgages grew and SEB’s market share for new mortgage loans in Sweden improved.

Sustainability became an even stronger factor for customers and demand for green products grew.

SEB signed the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking by which we undertake to align our activities with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

The fight against financial crime and money laundering continued with further development of advanced technology solutions and refined working processes.

SEB has an important role to play in the shift towards a low-carbon economy by supporting our customers in their transformation.
- Johan Torgeby, President and CEO

Our customers and stakeholders

Our customers’ needs are at the core of our business. Their high expectations for both personal and digital service, for quality advice and for sustainable solutions drive SEB’s business development and offerings. Our 15,000 employees work as a team to serve our customers and create value for our shareholders as well as society as a whole.

Large Corporations

2 000

Financial Institutions

1 100

Small and medium-sized companies

400 000

Of these, some 272 000 are home bank customers.

Private Individuals

4 000 000

Of these some 1.5 million are home bank customers.


265 000


15 000

SEB aims to be a long-term partner to our customers and create shareholder value by building relationships based on mutual trust.
– Marcus Wallenberg, Chair, Board of Directors

Strategy and business plan

Ever since SEB was founded more than 160 years ago, we have been guided by a strong belief that entrepreneurial minds and innovative companies are key in creating a better world.

SEB enables people to realise their dreams, ambitions and business ideas. Being the Nordic region’s leading corporate bank with an international perspective, innovation and entrepreneurship are part of our DNA. We are driven by engagement and curiosity about the future. This has been our approach ever since we welcomed our first customer more than 160 years ago. Our vision is to provide world-class service to our customers. We do this by building long-term relationships, providing personal and proactive advice and serving our customers on their terms – face to face or in the digital realm. We take responsibility for how we conduct our business and how we affect our customers, employees, shareholders and society at large. Trust is our license to operate and thus fundamental to our long-term ambition to generate lasting value for all our stakeholders.

Focus Areas

To reach our vision and deliver in line with our strategy, we have set out the way forward in our business plan for 2019–2021. During the year, our activities have been concentrated on the focus areas of advisory leadership, operational excellence and extended presence, and we are progressing in line with the plan.

The investments in our strategic initiatives, aiming to accelerate growth and enhance profitability, have also developed broadly as expected. Below please find a summary of each of the different focus areas.


  1. Advisory Leadership
    Offer customers proactive, customised and value-adding advice, based on their specific needs and behaviours, through human and digital interaction.
  2. Operational Excellence
    Enhance customer value by increasing the pace of digitalisation and automation while extending the use of data and analytics.
  3. Extended Presence
    Meet our customers on their terms in their digital ecosystems and offer a combination of products and services from SEB and our partners.