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Business ethics and anti-corruption

Stockholm city in winter, picture taken from above.

Trust in the financial system is crucial for SEB to do business that benefits customers, shareholders, economic development and society at large. We counteract all forms of corruption, in line with rules and regulations. These include external as well as internal incidents, processes and behaviours related to corruption.

Business ethics and anti-corruption

For SEB, it has always been a priority to maintain the highest standards for corporate governance, compliance and risk management. Our risk culture is based on our ambition of high ethical standards, social and environmental responsibility and professionalism. We are guided by global initiatives, international standards and our own policies and position statements.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct describes SEB’s way of working and guides us in our business relationships. The Code helps employees in their efforts to build long lasting relationships with customers and other stakeholders. Read more about our Code of Conduct.

Knowing our customers

We engage with our customers on ethical aspects, including anti-corruption, in order to understand their challenges and opportunities so that we can make the appropriate credit considerations and become a better business partner. In financing and credit granting, the area of anti-corruption risks are integrated in SEB’s know-your-customer process (KYC). In investments, our funds invest in companies that respect international principles and guidelines, such as the UN Global Compact and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

SEB has together with five other Nordic banks a joint venture company to develop a platform for handling KYC data: Nordic KYC Utility. The purpose is to harmonise the KYC-process and develop a Nordic standardised processes for handling KYC data.

Customer data ethics

In 2021 SEB adopted a Customer Data Ethics Policy, which sets the framework for responsible handling of customer data, data-driven innovation and the use of artificial intelligence. The policy consists of eight principles for responsible business development and innovation that aim to protect customers and ensure confidence in the bank. These principles aim to safeguard human rights, protect customers and ensure that customer data is handled in an ethical and responsible manner in the continuous development of SEB’s services and offering. Read the Customer Data Ethics Policy.

How we prevent financial crime

 SEB works long-term and in a structured way to minimise the risk of us being used for criminal purposes. This includes money laundering attempts, cyber-attacks, sabotage, intrusion attempts, crime and financing of terrorism. We collaborate with financial regulators, banks and other actors within the financial system to combat money laundering and other types of financial crime, and we constantly intensify our efforts to go beyond the current rules and regulations.

SEB is also part of a cooperation forum, together with the Swedish police and other Swedish banks, called Swedish Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Task Force (SAMLIT). 
Read more about Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Task Force 
Read more about how we work with crime prevention

Mandatory trainings for employees

Our employees are crucial for our ability to maintain high ethical standards and responsible business behaviours. Several trainings are mandatory for all 15,500 employees, among them the Code of Conduct (including work against corruption), Anti-money laundering, Prevention of fraud and Cyber security.

Code of conduct

The Code of Conduct describes SEB’s way of working and guides us in our business relationships. The Code helps employees in their efforts to build long lasting relationships with customers and other stakeholders. Read our Code of Conduct. (pdf)

Whistleblowing

SEB has an established whistleblowing process. Most reports of suspected irregularities are still made to local managers. Reports are also regularly made to the Head of Compliance and Head of Internal Audit, mostly via telephone or the specific email address. Notifications come from employees, but complaints also come from customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

It is also possible to report completely anonymously via the digital service WhistleB. The service is entirely outside of SEB and meets the most strict security requirements regarding encryption, data security and protection of the whistleblower's identity.  Find out more about  whistleblowing at SEB.

 How we relate to lobbying

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.

SEB shall comply with relevant external and internal restrictions regarding giving and receiving gifts as well as unacceptable benefits, in order to avoid any allegation of bribery or corruption. We shall not support political parties through donations or otherwise. Read more about our position on lobbying.