Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) is a Swedish corporate and investment bank operating in the Nordic and countries, serving large global corporations and financial institutions with corporate banking, trading and capital markets and global transaction services. SEB also serves about 4 million individual customers in Sweden and the Baltic countries.[i] At the end of 2015, SEB managed over USD190 billion in assets.[ii]
SEB revised its Arms and Defence Sector Policy in August 2014.[iii] The policy states: “SEB considers nuclear weapons to be controversial weapons as they are indiscriminate and the use would generally be unlawful under international humanitarian law. In addition, although certain countries are allowed to hold and maintain nuclear weapons according to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968, all parties have committed to nuclear disarmament. Therefore, SEB does not finance nuclear weapons, nor does SEB finance or invest in companies involved in nuclear weapons programmes.”[iv]
SEB’s new policy covers maintenance and specifically designed delivery systems[v] but is not applied to existing customers who are involved in nuclear weapons related activities though subsidiaries or joint ventures, provided that the company promises that SEB funds will not be used for nuclear weapons related activities.[vi]
The exclusion policy applies to all assets managed by SEB, except for discretionary mandates. Passively managed funds are covered, but implementation of the policy is still in process. This is expected to be completed in the second half of 2015.[vii] External asset managers have to comply with SEB’s exclusion policy, but an exception is made for externally managed active funds not carrying the SEB name.[viii]
SEB’s exclusion list is based on the findings of data provider Ethix SRI Advisors.[ix] As of July 2016, the companies excluded for their involvement with nuclear weapons are: Airbus Group; Areva ; Babcock International Group ; BWX Technologies; BAE Systems; Boeing; China Shipbuilding Industries; Cohort; Constructions Industrielles de la Mediterranee, CNIM; Finmeccanica; General Dynamics; Huntington Ingalls Industries; Jacobs Engineering; Larsen & Toubro; Lockheed Martin; Northrop Grumman; Premier Explosives; Raytheon Aerospace & Defense; Rolls Royce Holding; Safran; Thales; United Technologies; Walchandnagar Industries. [x]
SEB was also found to have several investments in nuclear weapon producing companies identified by this report, more information can be found in the Hall of Shame.
We commend SEB for adopting a public policy on nuclear weapons and for having strengthened its exclusion policy in 2014 to cover all types of nuclear weapons producing companies including those involved in the maintenance of nuclear weapons and specifically designed delivery systems. We recommend SEB apply the policy to existing contracts and to all financial products including discretionary mandates and externally managed funds. We look forward to engaging with SEB, so a strong and comprehensively applied policy may be listed in the Hall of Fame in a future update of this report.
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I saw on www.dontbankonthebomb.com that you have a policy limiting investments in nuclear weapons. I think it’s really important that you share my concern about these weapons, and I appreciate that there is a public policy.
However, the policy does have some loopholes and the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report shows how you still might invest in nuclear weapons producers. I am concerned about this, because SEB also invests my money and I don’t want to be associated in any way with the production of these inhumane weapons.
It would be great if SEB made the following change to make the policy airtight:
• Apply the policy to existing contracts and to all financial products including discretionary mandates and externally managed funds.
With kind regards,
[i] SEB, “Our Customers”, website SEB (http://sebgroup.com/about-seb/who-we-are/our-customers), viewed 30 October 2016.
[ii] SEB, “PRI reporting framework 2016”, available at https://reporting.unpri.org/surveys/PRI-Reporting-Framework-2016/90ee1956-54e0-4594-bccd-582e5bbba2c2/79894dbc337a40828d895f9402aa63de/html/2/?lang=&a=1, viewed 30 October 2016.
[iii]SEB, “Arms and Defence sector policy”, 20 Augustus 2014, p.2, available at http://sebgroup.com/siteassets/about_seb1/sustainability/sustainability_governance/policies/sector_policy_arms_and_defence.pdf, viewed 30 October 2016.
[iv] SEB, “Arms and Defence sector policy”, 20 Augustus 2014, p.3, available at http://sebgroup.com/siteassets/about_seb1/sustainability/sustainability_governance/policies/sector_policy_arms_and_defence.pdf, viewed 30 October 2016.
[v] SEB, Correspondence with PAX dated 8 May 2015.
[vi] SEB, “Arms and Defence sector policy”, 20 Augustus 2014, p.3, available at http://sebgroup.com/siteassets/about_seb1/sustainability/sustainability_governance/policies/sector_policy_arms_and_defence.pdf, viewed 30 October 2016.
[vii] SEB, Correspondence with PAX dated 8 May 2015.
[viii] SEB, Correspondence with PAX dated 8 May 2015.
[ix] SEB, Correspondence with PAX dated 8 May 2015.
[x] SEB, “Responsible and active ownership”, website SEB (http://sebgroup.com/about-seb/who-we-are/our-role-in-society/responsible-and-active-ownership), viewed 30 October 2016.