As a bank we have an important role to play by factoring sustainability risks into all our business decisions.
To us, responsible lending means promoting a sound financial situation and taking responsibility for reducing the indirect impact on people and the environment that can arise as a consequence of our customers’ business activities. Sustainability risks can rarely be separated from financial risks, so we conduct a sustainability analysis in connection with all business loan applications over SEK 8 million. In the analysis we discuss general sustainability risks with the customer, based on a risk assessment model that includes questions about human rights, the environment and climate change, taxes and corruption.
If the company is considered to have significant sustainability risks, and/or the amount applied for is too high for the employee in charge to grant, the case is forwarded to a credit committee for a final decision.
Swedbank’s Ethics Committee handles cases from the entire Group and gives recommendations on issues involving sustainability and ethics. In this way, by escalating cases to the Committee, every business area can receive support on issues relating to the environment, business ethics, human rights and taxes.
As Sweden’s largest fund manager, we are in a position to influence the companies in which we invest. We have chosen to advocate for sustainability and corporate governance issues on behalf of our investors. We invest in a large number of companies in Sweden and abroad. As part of our financial analysis, we identify their sustainability risks and opportunities for improvement.
Certain companies are excluded for sustainability reasons, but our main principle is to remain an owner in order to try to exert a positive influence.
Swedbank has a Group–wide process for New Product Approval (NPA) covering all new and/or revised products, services, activities, processes and/or systems as well as major operational and/or organisational changes. The purpose is to ensure that the Group does not enter into activities that entail unintended risks or risks that are not immediately managed and controlled as part of the process. In addition, the Group is able to assure quality when launching new and/or revised products and services. Continuity, crisis management and security Swedbank works proactively to prevent and/or strengthen its ability to manage