SEB has since the beginning of the war condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The bank has also previously said that the invasion raises serious and legitimate questions regarding the bank's own operations in the country. The message has been that SEB closely follows developments with a focus on supporting customers.
This has resulted in a clarification, which means that the bank is now actively starting to scale down its operations. Here is the statement:
“SEB is a northern European corporate bank with presence in more than 20 countries worldwide. The focus is to support the bank’s home market customers as they do business internationally.
This includes Russia, where SEB’s operations focus solely on supporting subsidiaries of its Nordic, German and British corporate customers with operations in the country. SEB does not have any business targeted at domestic companies, institutions or individuals.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, SEB’s immediate focus has been on helping our customers to navigate these challenging times and supporting them as they reduce or wind down their operations in Russia. Under the current conditions it is not viable for SEB to maintain operations in Russia, and SEB has therefore started scaling these down. This will be done in a responsible and orderly manner and in accordance with regulatory and legal obligations.
SEB’s operations in Russia are based in Saint Petersburg, with a smaller presence in Moscow, and has about 80 local employees. SEB’s direct exposure to Russia is limited to 0.2 percent of SEB’s total credit portfolio.”