Business ethics and security questions and answers within sustainability
We engage with customers on a regular basis on ethical aspects, including anti-corruption, in order to understand their challenges and opportunities so that we can make the appropriate credit considerations and to be a better business partner. In financing and credit granting, the area of anti-corruption risks are integrated in the know your customer process. Within asset management, our funds invest in companies that respect international principles and guidelines, such as the UN Global Compact and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Yes, SEB’s Code of Conduct (up-dated annually) describes our way of working and guides us in our business relationships. The Code helps us in our efforts to always act responsibly and ethically in order to build sound and long-term relationships with customers and other stakeholders. This is also our policy on ethical matters.
The Code of Conduct covers areas such as responsible customer advice, our approach to tax, how we handle complaints, combat money laundering, bribery, terrorist financing etc. All employees of the SEB Group – in all markets where we operate – and all those who represent companies within the Group, including members of the board, independent contractors and consultants are covered by the Code.
SEB has a whistleblowing process for reporting irregularities. If an employee or other person should discover possible unethical or unlawful behaviour, we offer several ways of reporting the observations, among them the anonymous and independent digital service WhistleB. All reported incidents or circumstances are promptly investigated and, when applicable, reported to the bank’s CEO and the Audit and Compliance Committee.
SEB offers various training programs for employees, including an education package with e-learning, films and working material. Five digital training sessions are mandatory for all employees – Code of Conduct, Cyber Security, Anti-Money Laundering and combat of terrorism financing, General Data Protection Regulation GDPR) and Fraud Prevention. At year-end 2021, 95 per cent of our employees had completed the mandatory trainings.
DATA ETHICS AND PRIVACY
SEB has adopted an ethics policy, Customer Data Ethics Policy, for customer data which sets the framework for responsible handling of customer data, data-driven innovation and the use of AI. The policy consists of eight principles for responsible business development and innovation that will protect customers and safeguard confidence in the bank.
The policy stipulates that the fundamental purpose of collecting and processing customer data must be to favour the stakeholders. Customers must be able to rely on SEB handling customer data in a careful and respectful manner while accepting responsibility for its handling of customer data.
SEB must strive to be able to report its use of data sources, models and AI as well as explaining how AI-based decisions are made. The policy also requires SEB not to sell customer data to a third party for commercial use. However, SEB may share data with a third party in order to develop services that create clear value for customers, when customers have requested this or when it is required by law. SEB has a specially appointed data protection officer.
Customer Data Ethics Policy (pdf)
FINANCIAL CRIME AND CYBER SECURITY
We work in a structured way to protect the bank from money laundering attempts, cyber-attacks, sabotage, intrusion attempts, crime and financing of terrorism. We believe that a sound know-your-customer (KYC) process is the best method of prevention and we apply enhanced due diligence for customers, products and countries, where there is a perceived risk that SEB is used for money laundering and financing of terrorism.
SEB has strict guidelines towards unethical influence, whether within business or society. All actions and decisions shall comply with laws, regulations and other external rules as well as with internal instructions and policies. The SEB Group shall comply with relevant external and internal restrictions (observing transparency and appropriateness) regarding giving and receiving gifts as well as unacceptable benefits, in order to avoid any allegation of bribery or corruption. The SEB Group shall not support political parties through donations or otherwise.
SEB’s sustainability experts have extensive knowledge in areas such as climate and financing solutions, sustainable investments and regulatory development in the European Union.