Swedbank recognises that corruption has an adverse effect on communities and individuals since it threatens the law, democratic development and the human rights and freedoms. Swedbank takes an active standpoint against all forms of corruption in all markets where the bank operates.
Corruption can take many forms that vary in degree from the minor use of influence to institutionalised bribery. The global anti-corruption organisation Transparency International's definition of corruption is "the abuse of entrusted power for private gain". This can mean not only financial gain but also non-financial advantages. Swedbank has signed the United Nations Global Compact and are thereby committed to participate in the fight against corruption. The tenth principle in the UN Global Compact commits all participants not only to avoid bribery, extortion and other forms of corruption, but also to develop frameworks and concrete programs to address corruption. Swedbank promotes transparency and accountability in business relations and communicates in a way that enables stakeholders to understand the bank’s work, challenges and ambitions.
Swedbank’s business idea is based on sound and sustainable financial activities. The bank assures stringent procedures to identify and understand risks of corruption in order to apply preventive measures. These are some of the prioritised areas, related to anti-corruption and transparency, within Swedbank Group:
- Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF) are highly prioritised within Swedbank Group.
- Swedbank recognises the importance of frank discussion of ethical issues and encourage employees to communicate concerns regarding non-compliance and questionable practices anonymously by using the bank’s whistle blowing procedure.
- Swedbank’s Group-wide ethics policy states that all operations in Swedbank must be characterised by high ethical standards, which necessitates that Swedbank and its employees actively examine every business transaction and ethically questionable situation on the basis of ethical norms and attitudes.
- Financial market stability and efficiency is largely dependent on the regulatory and political environment. Swedbank actively participates in political discussions that allow the firm to share its expertise and adapt early to regulatory changes and corporate responsibility-related issues. Swedbank, however, does not knowingly support – financially or otherwise – political parties of any kind directly or indirectly.
- The Swedbank Group provides a wide range of financial services to many different customers. It also includes business for its own account. A conflict of Interest may arise in the Group's ordinary course of business in a variety of situations; thus awareness of these matters both among employees and customers is of crucial importance. Swedbank has, in it's Conflict of Interest Policy, established principles for identification of the circumstances which constitute or may constitute a Conflict of Interest and the management of such conflicts.
- Swedbank has developed codes of conduct for employees and suppliers to ensure a mutual understanding of the importance of respect for business ethics.
Learn more about supplier relationships and employee code of conduct.
- Swedbank Group's anti-corruption policy guides all employees in these questions.
- For the sake of transparency, control and monitoring, the bank has created a handbook with concrete guidelines on customer events and gifts, and has introduced a reporting system for employees.