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Our approach to human rights and labour law

Man buying takeaway.

We are committed to upholding human rights, complying with labour laws and promoting diversity and inclusion. As a bank, SEB has the ability to promote human rights, for example by financing social infrastructure and engaging in responsible lending. SEB recognises the social and human rights challenges that the world faces and the negative effects that companies can have.

We commit to the UN Global Compact, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN's Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the ILO Core Conventions on Labour Standards and Children’s Rights and Business Principles.

Human rights considerations, including due diligence, are described in the Social and Human Rights Policy as well as in the bank’s sector policies, which also clarifies areas exempted from policy application. Human rights are considered in main processes of the bank such as lending, investments and procurement, taking a risk-based approach. In sectors with potential negative human rights risks, SEB expects large corporate customers to have appropriate labour and human rights due diligence systems in relation to the risks.

Social and Human Rights Policy for the SEB Group (pdf)

We believe in children’s, women’s and men’s equal rights and that diversity is a resource that shall be supported, respected and utilised. Equal rights and opportunities shall be irrespective of ethnic or national origin, gender, transgender identity or expression, skin colour, faith, religion, citizenship, age, disability, civil status or sexual orientation. 

SEB’s approach to Inclusion and diversity

In the Modern Slavery Act SEB has set out the steps that the bank has taken to ensure that the risk of slavery and human trafficking will be identified in its supply chains or any part of its business.

Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement (pdf)

We are part of the Swedish Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children which seeks to prevent and obstruct payments for child abuse through the Swedish financial system.

Human rights considerations in investments

SEB Investment Management AB is committed to respecting all human rights and will therefore exclude companies that verifiably violate international norms and conventions regarding human rights. 

To reduce risks, the fund company monitors policies, processes, and commitments to improve human and labour rights as well as to monitor positive and negative outcomes, such as gender diversity and rate of workplace related accidents.

In dialogues, the fund company encourages companies to be transparent and report on issues related to human rights, with an emphasis on processes and mechanisms to monitor compliance with international standards and conventions, policies for human rights due diligence and supplier codes of conduct.

Labour law in SEB

SEB’s employees are covered by central cross-sector collective agreements and local company-specific collective agreements. SEB has a European works council (EWC) with representatives from all EU and EEA countries in which the bank is active. The representatives are elected in accordance with Swedish legislation and are in proportion to the number of employees employed in each EEA (European Economic Area) country where we are represented.

Employees are also represented on SEB’s Board of Directors through two directors and two deputy directors. All organisational changes in Sweden are negotiated with employee representatives

Any reorganisations or layoffs are handled in accordance with applicable laws, collective agreements, special procedures and redundancy agreements that have been agreed upon with the unions. Training and support are offered both to employees and managers who are involved in a reorganisation. Employees also get support in finding new work, whether internally or externally.

Right to privacy

The right to privacy is a universal human right and the trust of our customers is based on respect for and protection of their privacy. We always treat the information that our customers entrust us with in a careful and responsible manner. Our privacy policy explains, among other things, which of the personal data we process, why we process them, how we collect them and how long we save the data. 

Information on processing personal data (in Swedish)

Our suppliers

We are convinced that having suppliers with high performance as regards social aspects creates greater value for us as well as for our customers. In our Supplier Code of Conduct we express the importance of having a sustainable supply chain and what we expect from our suppliers. In our risk assessment of suppliers, human rights and labour law are among the evaluation criteria.

We expect our suppliers to operate in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations of the countries in which they operate, manufacture or conduct business. 

Working with our suppliers