"When the board redesigned the compensation system for the bank's management, we strived in earnest to find a system that fulfils the guarantee programme's requirements while being sustainable and neutral from a competitive point of view. We removed the short-term incentives and lowered the total compensation," says SEB's Chairman of the board, Marcus Wallenberg
"After a continued dialogue with the Swedish National Debt Office it is clear that further adjustments are necessary. Since the purpose of the changes - to meet requirements for the guarantee programme - could not be realised, the board and the management agree on these changes. We consider it important for SEB to be able to participate in the government's guarantee programme, and thereby contribute to confidence and financial stability in society," Marcus Wallenberg concludes.
"I acknowledge the great damage inflicted on confidence and trust in SEB and me by the discussion about management compensation in the past days. For us a bank society's trust and confidence is crucial, just as it is important to society that SEB is a stable and respected authority," says SEB's president and Chief Executive Officer, Annika Falkengren.
"I can not apologize enough for how wrong this turned out. We in SEB's management will do our utmost to restore confidence among customers, employees and shareholders, as well as with the public," Annika Falkengren concludes.
SEB is a North European financial group serving some 400,000 corporate customers and institutions and five million private individuals. SEB offers universal banking services in Sweden, Germany and the Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It also has local presence in the other Nordic countries, Poland, Ukraine and Russia and a global presence through its international network in major financial centers. On 31 December 2008, the Group's total assets amounted to SEK 2,511bn (~EUR 230bn) while its assets under management totalled SEK 1,201bn (~EUR 110bn).The Group has about 22,000 employees. Read more about SEB at www.sebgroup.com
For further information, please contact:
Odd Eiken, Head of Group Communications, +46 8 763 8730, +46 70 763 8730