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Questions and answers

Human rights

SEB’s approach to human rights influences how we manage employees, suppliers and relationships with customers and portfolio companies. We strive to identify and assess situations where we can potentially have negative impact on human rights through our own operations as well as through our business relations. Our work is based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

How we manage Human Rights issues
SEB’s Human Rights Policy (pdf) 

SEB assesses the risk for human rights violations in accordance with SEB’s Human Rights Policy and international agreements. A customer with low human rights ambitions, that might expose people to, for example, danger or violations, could in addition to the risk of causing negative impacts on human beings present a credit risk for the bank. In addition, investing in such companies also carries a high reputational risk. This type of risk shall be assessed and monitored in the credit and investment processes. SEB’s Human Rights Policy, sector policies and ESG data from external suppliers serve as guidance.

As an employer, SEB has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are treated equally and with respect. As an employer, SEB has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are treated equally and with respect, and with equal opportunities for all. Everyone should feel included and be given the same opportunities for professional and personal development. Values and behaviours as well as individual ability and ambition are important long-term success factors for being part of our team.

SEB’s Policy on Inclusion and Diversity

Yes, human rights issues are part of the supplier risk screening process.

We perform engagement dialogues by ourselves and in collaboration with other investors, through for example, PRI Clearinghouse and with Hermes Equity Ownership Services, an international leader in engaging companies in dialogue. We also actively participate, via our voting rights as shareholders, in annual general meetings.

Labour law

We engage with customers on a regular basis on aspects concerning labour law and social relations in order to understand their challenges and opportunities so that we can make the appropriate credit considerations and to be a better business partner.

SEB and labour laws

Our employees are covered by central cross-sector collective agreements and local company-specific collective agreements. SEB has a European works council with representatives from all EU and EEA countries in which the bank is active. 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.

All of SEB’s employees (100 %) are covered by collective or local agreements. A continuous dialogue is carried out with employees, employee representatives and with trade unions. SEB has had a European Works Council (EWC) since 2003.

In SEB, equal pay is used as an overall guiding principle in all salary decisions. We also apply a  grandparent principle to all salary decisions in the Group to ensure fair and equal treatment. In addition, the gender pay gap is measured, analysed and reviewed on a yearly basis according to applicable legislation per country.

Child labour

SEB is committed to the principles of protecting children from any forms of child labour and exploitation. We strive to identify and mitigate the exposure to risks related to child labour and to influence our clients and portfolio companies to have appropriate child labour policies and monitoring systems of sufficient quality.

Our people

During 2023, total employee turnover was 9%. 

In Sweden 2023 SEB’s level of sick leave was 2.7% (women: 3.8% and men 1.7%). 

Since long, we offer opportunities for continuous learning and development for employees. This is an important prerequisite for the ability to adapt to new circumstances. On the digital platform, SEB Campus we offer a wide range of programmes, trainings and interactive learning activities. The platform contains SEB produced content and content developed in partnership with leading universities, industry experts, and through cross-company collaboration with other companies. Focus is put on, among others, innovation, sustainability, inclusion and diversity, and new ways of working.

In 2023, the average employee had around 31 hours of training. The ratio between women/men is 27/35. In 2023 close to 24,000 SEK was invested per employee in learning and development.

Inclusion and diversity

We define inclusion as a state of being valued, respected and involved. In an inclusive organisation, everyone can contribute to their fullest potential. It is a culture where we promote a variety of thoughts, are curious about new perspectives, experiences, and are respectful of differences. By diversity we mean respect for and appreciation of differences in personalities and professional and educational background, as well as in identity such as age, gender, geographical provenance, sexual orientation and disability.

Our approach to Inclusion and Diversity

Inclusion and diversity are integral parts of, for example, our leadership trainings, recruitment processes and succession planning. Some of our actions in the field include annual equal pay review and adjusting unjustifiable pay gaps, holding events, seminars, round tables and workshops to increase the awareness among all our employees. We also perform unbiased and anonymous recruitments for our trainee programs, with the support of the recruitment firm TNG.

Inclusion and diversity at SEB

SEB’s Policy on Inclusion and Diversity

46% men and 54% women in SEB during 2023.

  • The Board of Directors:64% men and 36% women.
  • Group Executive Committee (GEC): 76% men and 33% women.
  • Top Senior Management: 55% men and 45% women.

SEB has a long-term ambition of increasing gender balance in senior management towards

50/50 (±10 per cent). For more details, see Annual and Sustainability Report 2023

Engagement in society and sponsorship

We are convinced that when women and men have the same opportunities to reach their full potential, the world will not only be a fairer place to live in, but it will also see greater success. We believe that financial equality is crucial for a more sustainable society and that a more equal distribution of means between men and women would benefit society and its progression as a whole. This is why we use our expertise to promote gender equality when it comes to ownership, income and savings.

The Financial Equality case

Corporate citizenship is about how our business impacts society. We provide necessary infrastructure for society and the economy to function. We are part of creating growth and social value by enabling financing, investments, savings and payments – for households and businesses. Since all transformation requires capital – and financing, investments and advisory is at the very heart of what we do – we have a critical role in driving progress.

We want to use our corporate citizenship and sponsorship to help people with an entrepreneurial mindset so that their ideas can grow. We are especially passionate about initiatives that contribute to a positive development of society – for example within environment, diversity and equality. We play an active role in all our partnerships and contribute with our expertise.

We choose partnerships that highlight SEB's role in society, in the countries where we operate and in programmes that promote the basis for successful growth: entrepreneurship, good conditions for children and youth through financial literacy, social inclusion and music and learning.

Sponsoring and community engagement

Contact us

SEB's sustainability experts have extensive knowledge in areas such as climate and financing solutions, sustainable investments and regulatory development in the European Union.


Reach out to our sustainability contacts