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About SEB

Eight business priorities

SEB's sustainability strategy focuses on eight business priorities in three areas of responsibility. By focusing on these areas, we can contribute to better corporate governance in the banking sector, to protect the environment and increase our community involvement.

We take responsibility within:

  • governance responsibility
  • environmental responsibility
  • social responsibility.

Each area has a defined set of business priorities, eight in total:

Eight business priorities

1. Responsible selling and marketing

Our relationships with our customers depend upon trust. To retain this trust we must set our clients' interest first while ensuring that all our customers are treated fairly according to the highest standards of service, transparency and responsible banking practices. We conduct our business in an ethical way, guided by our core values of mutual respect, continuity, professionalism and commitment.

High ethical standards must be, and are, an integral part of the way we do business and of the attitudes that we foster within SEB. Our goal is for our customers to recommend us, referring to SEB as a trusted partner. We know that we must meet increasingly higher expectations of responsible corporate behavior if we wish to retain this trust and remain successful.

2. Tackling financial crime

Financial crime is a large scale international problem. We must protect our customers and our business. We train employees to prevent money laundering and fraud and continuously work to keep our offices and online channels secure.

As a major provider of credit, payment systems and other financial services, we are an important part of the societies where we operate. It is our responsibility to protect the people we serve and the money we handle. We are expected to prevent financial crime and the mis-usage of our channels for money laundering, fraud and other criminal activities.

We focus on three key areas:

  • Actions to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism.
  • Compliance with government sanctions against criminal suspects.
  • Fraud prevention.

 

3. Responsible ownership

Companies, including banks and investors, that actively manage the environmental, social and governance aspects of their business are more able to reduce risk and seize opportunities. A crucial part of this is to engage in dialogues to influence portfolio handlers to pursue long-term value creation and attractive financial returns.

We are one of the largest institutional shareholders, investing on behalf of private, corporate and institutional clients. Acting responsibly as an owner forms an important part of the mandate given by our customers, therefore it is essential that our portfolio companies manage the environmental, social and governance impact associated with their businesses.

Our aim is to perform our ownership role responsibly, promoting good business ethics and governance. Our ambition is to work together with our portfolio companies to evaluate the potential risks and opportunities of their businesses, to secure a sustainable value creation.

4. Reducing our environmental footprint

Our direct environmental impact is limited. Still, we need to do our fair share. The goal of SEB Group is to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2015 compared to 2008 levels. We have switched to green energy, reduced our paper use, and we aim to travel less and smarter.

Although the environmental impact of our sector and SEB individually is minimal when compared to many other high impact industries, we have the obligation and opportunity to do what we can to limit our footprint. Another important task is to channel funding and investments to critical areas in need capital to enact changes to reduce our society's environmental impact.

We apply the following approach:

  • Measure and report our carbon footprint
  • Avoid carbon intensive activities whenever possible
  • Reduce our energy consumption and business travel
  • Replace fossil fuel derived energy with renewable sources

5. Sustainable finance and investments

Our bank is part of financing and investing in the future. We have adopted a number of global initiatives and international codes of conduct which guide our business decisions. We help customers mitigate risks and capture opportunities.

To address the many social and environmental challenges that the world faces, new ways of thinking, innovations and, not least, financial assistance are needed. Banks can play a crucial role by developing competitive financial solutions that forward sustainability goals.

By including environmental and social concerns in our lending and investments approach, we are better equipped to both mitigate risks and seize opportunities.

We follow international standards of good practice, such as the Equator Principles.

6. Valuing our people

Banking is all about people. We therefore strive to be a sound workplace that attracts and retains the right people. We provide scope for individual development by making our people feel valued, included and engaged.

An engaging, sound and healthy work environment encourages high quality performance as well as high employee satisfaction and loyalty. This is in the interest of both customers and shareholders. To maintain our position as the relationship bank SEB must attract, develop and retain the best people so that we can provide the best service and experience to our customers.

Our goal is to offer our employees and potential employees the very best work environment with equal opportunities to develop their individual careers, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, sexual inclination or religion. Our ambition is to have each gender represented by at least 50 per cent at each level within our organisation and to increase the proportion of employees with foreign backgrounds recruited to SEB.

7. Access to financial services

People need equal access to finance and banking services. We therefore work to improve access to our services and to improve financial literacy in society. We have a long tradition of supporting finance and economics education.

Our goal is to serve as broad a range of customers as possible, serving their different financial needs whenever and wherever they desire. We should make our financial services accessible to all, regardless of economic standing, ethnic origin, disability or other factors. This includes both tools and technologies that facilitate access to banking services.

We use our products and services as well as our international network and our core competencies to provide greater access to financial services. This creates a competitive advantage for SEB and stimulates demand for our financial services.

8. Investing in communities

We recognize that a thriving society is critical to our future success as bank. In addition to the role that our business plays in the communities where we operate, we support local communities, sharing both time and money. It's important for us to help mitigate social imbalances, to support innovations and to promote a sound and healthy lifestyle.

Our efforts are directed towards supporting entrepreneurs, strengthening children and youth, promoting sports and a healthy lifestyle as well as enriching communities through culture. We also work to raise awareness of environmental challenges.

SEB partners with best in class organisations and charities and remain involved in the decisions about how our finances are spent. We seek to use our resources and infrastructure so that we make the most of our investments.


 

 

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