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Q&A - Governance

SUSTAINABILITY GOVERNANCE

Strong governance is important for successful progress. We have a robust sustainability governance model, with clear roles and mandates on different levels. This model determines how we set our strategy and work to integrate sustainability into our business.

The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is responsible for establishing a strategy for corporate sustainability and an organisation to execute this strategy. The board is also responsible for having the organisation to execute the strategy in place, and for approving the Corporate Sustainability Policy.

The President and CEO
The President and CEO is responsible for the execution of the sustainability strategy. The president and CEO is also responsible for implementing the governance structure which has been decided by the Board.

The Group Executive Sustainability Committee (GESC)
The Group Executive Sustainability Committee (GESC), established by the President, manages the execution of the sustainability strategy. GESC is a decision body chaired by the President.

Sustainable Banking
Sustainable Banking is responsible for coordinating and driving the overall corporate sustainability agenda. This is done in close collaboration with the Divisions and Group Staff and Support functions. This team if headed by the Chief Sustainability Officer who is also part of SEB’s extended Group Executive Committee.

Sustainability Product Committee
The Sustainability Product Committee decides on the right for SEB units to use any sustainability-reference in the marketing or distribution of products or services.

SEB’s Divisions and employees
SEB’s Divisions and employees – each Head of Division, Head of Group Support function and Head of Group Staff is responsible for making sure everything is in place to meet the corporate sustainability objectives, strategy and policies.

Read the full description of SEB’s sustainability governance.

SEB sets and publishes targets and outcome for areas where we have the most significant impacts. Our ambition is to further increase transparency and disclosures of progress. These efforts are continuously aligned with future national and international requirements and expectations. In April 2021, SEB joined the UN-initiated Net-Zero Banking Alliance through which we commit to set targets and align our attributable emissions from our lending and investment portfolios with pathways to net-zero by 2050 or sooner.

The targets and KPIs are linked to the areas of sustainable financing, sustainable investments, employees, business ethics and our own environmental impact. Moreover, they are being integrated into long-term incentive programmes for senior managers. Among the most important KPIs and targets are

  • to grow our green loan portfolio,
  • gradually shift credit portfolio towards increased sustainable financing and
  • increase total assets under management (AuM) managed with sustainability criteria.

Find sustainability-related targets and KPIs in SEB’s Annual and Sustainability Report 2020, p. 43 and p. 196–207.

Our operations are governed by a set of national and international guidelines. We also have our own policies and instructions that guide our way of working.

We have five Group-wide sustainability-related policies:

  • Corporate Sustainability policy (adopted by the Board)
  • Human Rights Policy (adopted by the President and CEO)
  • Environmental policy (adopted by the President and CEO)
  • Tax policy (adopted by the Board)
  • Inclusion and Diversity Policy (adopted by the Board)
  • Policy on Integration of Sustainability in Investment Decisions and Advice (adopted by the President and CEO)

In addition, three group-wide position statements and eight industry sector policies provide guidance on "best practice" and highlight international conventions and guidelines that we encourage companies to follow. These documents cover the entire SEB Group and SEB's business operations globally. They have been adopted by the Board of Directors or the President and CEO. Read about our sustainability-related policies.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Yes, the composition of the Board shall adhere to applicable laws and regulations and to the Policy on Suitability, Diversity and Composition of the Board of Directors, adopted by the Board. The Nomination Committee shall ensure diversity within the Board in terms of educational and professional background, gender, age and geographical provenance of the directors.

Is SEB’s chair independent?

Independent in relation to the Bank: Yes

Independent in relation to major shareholders: No

The Swedish Corporate Governance Code states that a majority of the members of the board are to be independent of the company and its management. At least two members must also be independent of the company’s major shareholders*, which means that it is possible for major shareholders of Swedish companies to appoint a majority of members with whom they have close ties. This is in line with the positive view of active and responsible ownership expressed in the preparatory documents to the Swedish Companies Act.

The chair of the Board of SEB is not a member of the executive management of SEB and is therefore independent in relation to SEB. However, the chair is also vice chair of the Board in Investor AB, which is a major shareholder of SEB and therefore non-independent in relation to major shareholders.

*Major shareholders are defined as those controlling 10% or more of the shares or votes in the company.

SEB does not have a supervisory board.

Read about Corporate Governance at SEB.

How many company shares does board members hold?

Please find information for each board member in the Annual and Sustainability Report 2020, p 84–86.

COMPENSATION

Please find information about remuneration to the Board and Group Executive Committee in SEB’s Annual and Sustainability Report 2020, p 128 (pdf)

SEB’s CEO and executive management are followed up on sustainability-related KPI’s. These areas include  Sustainability & Conduct, Employee engagement and Regulatory compliance & Governance.

In 2020, SEB continued the integration of sustainability KPIs for all direct reports to the Group Executive Committee.

Yes, for employees with variable remuneration. The models for variable remuneration are based on financial and non-financial key ratios at group level. Non-financial goals take into account factors such as customer satisfaction, compliance and sustainability performance related to, for example, the bank’s own environmental impact and integration of sustainability risks into the business model.

SEB All Employee Programme 2020 (AEP), covers essentially all employees. The programme’s targets are linked to SEB’s business plan and consist of the financial targets for return on equity and the bank’s cost development, which are also communicated externally, and the non-financial target for customer satisfaction. The outcome for 2020 was determined to be 44.7 per cent (56.5) of the maximum amount. Read about the All Employee Programme in the Annual and Sustainability Report 2020  p. 94.

SUPPLY CHAIN

We expect our suppliers to conduct services in compliance with applicable laws and regulations of the countries in which they operate, manufacture or conduct business. We also expect them to act responsibly from a sustainability perspective, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These expectations and more are found in SEB’s Code of Conduct for Suppliers. Read more about how we work with suppliers . Read SEB’s Code of Conduct for Suppliers.