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Our approach to tax

A small ferry boat in Stockholm by night with the National museum in the background.

SEB plays a significant role in society, contributing to economic growth and prosperity both as an employer and trough providing customers with financing and savings solutions, risk management and payment services. In all of this, the subject of taxes and tax governance is relevant and important.

In every aspect, SEB's business shall be underpinned by strong ethics, high standards and professional governance. Operating in more than 20 countries, where tax rules and regulations are not fully harmonised across borders, SEB works strategically and long-term with customers, supporting them in international trade and global cross-border business, with emphasis on securing compliance within applicable tax laws and regulations.

Principles for tax governance

SEB has established a group-wide Tax Policy that lays down the principles for its governance of taxes and thereto related matters. The tax policy underscores the bank’s role in society and stresses the importance of having good knowledge of customers and applying sound business logic in all transactions.

We strive to uphold the highest standards in respect to taxes. Tax laws differ from country to country and is not always in sync across borders. SEB's tax policy takes this into account by stipulating that SEB should not provide products and services that are in conflict with national and international laws on tax avoidance. Products and services must always have sound business logic based on solid customer knowledge.

Dialogue with authorities

The policy also lays out that SEB should always strive to establish and maintain good relations with local tax authorities and other regulatory bodies. In cases where laws differ between various countries, SEB should work transparently for a globally acceptable solution based on a dialogue with the tax authorities in each country.

Taxes are an important issue for SEB’s customers. Many transactions we do with customers have tax implications and the requirements on SEB to understand how transactions may be related to external tax rules are increasing. Read our Tax policy and Country-by-country reporting in the Annual and Sustainability Report 2020, p. 206–207.