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Swedish Bank SEB announces ethics policy for client data management

By Joy Dumasia

June 29, 2021

  • Europe
  • Swedish
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Swedish bank SEB has adopted an ethics policy for handling customer data and the use of artificial intelligence.

The policy consists of eight principles for responsible business development of data-based technologies such as AI and machine learning, which are increasingly becoming core components in digital transformation projects.

This protocol aims to guide banks to combat ethical risks in data-driven innovation, such as lack of transparency, false assumptions, data quality, security and privacy.

The policy stipulates that the fundamental purpose of collecting and processing customer data must be to favour the stakeholders.

Other fundamental principles revolve around transparency and explainability, increasing regulatory work on AI data models. SEB strives to report its use of data sources, models, and AI and explain how AI-based decisions are made.

Sara Öhrvall, Chief Transformation Officer, SEB, says: “We need to develop ethical principles that are long term and go beyond regulatory compliance. These principles are there to safeguard human rights, protect customers and ensure that in the continuous development of our services and our offering, we handle customer data in an ethical and responsible manner.”

Groupe SEB has structured and formalized its policy in a Code of Ethics, drafted in 2012. This document addresses 18 key areas, including child labour, anti-corruption measures, non-discrimination, environmental protection and the prevention of conflicts of interest. As part of the measures introduced to ensure that the Code of Ethics’ commitments is appropriately applied, in 2012, the Group set up a whistleblowing system so that any employee or person from outside the Group can report situations that violate the Code.

Recently, IBS Intelligence reported that SEB and Google Cloud announced a partnership to boost its digitization journey and create new banking services for its customers. SEB’s studio and next-generation banking platform, SEBx, is already benefiting from Google’s Infrastructure and Data Cloud technologies, such as Kubernetes Engine and Cloud SQL, helping the bank achieve greater cost efficiency, flexibility, and network scalability.

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