The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires that certain organisations annually state the actions that they have taken to ensure that modern slavery and human trafficking do not occur in their supply chains or in their operations. Handelsbanken’s view on sustainability, ethics, modern slavery and human trafficking is expressed in the following documents:
- Policy for Ethical Standards in Handelsbanken plc (pdf)
- Policy for Sustainability in Handelsbanken plc (pdf)
- Sustainability Report 2019 (pdf 3.1 MB)
Actions taken in the last year
Our structure and supply chain
The Handelsbanken Group has a supplier code of conduct for its major suppliers and also holds ongoing dialogue with suppliers with sustainability a key feature. The code defines the expectations Handelsbanken Group has of its suppliers and their subcontractors. The code was implemented in 2016 for major suppliers in Sweden and during 2019 the code of conduct was implemented in the UK. By the end of 2019 Group suppliers representing more than 75 percent of global purchases had signed the code.
Policies on Modern Slavery
Sustainability aspects are a vital part of the credit policy. The policy states that Handelsbanken’s lending must be responsible and meet high demands for sound ethical standards. Instructions are in place which require the Bank to analyse and document sustainability risks in companies that borrow from Handelsbanken, including, amongst other things, each company’s approach and governance in relation to human rights and working conditions.
In 2019 there were no reported instances of modern slavery within the Bank or with suppliers. Handelsbanken has a zero-tolerance policy to any modern slavery and it regularly reviews policies and processes to ensure that any occurrences can be addressed. Should any instances of modern slavery be identified, it will be escalated to the relevant authorities and the employee or supplier will be immediately suspended.
Training on Modern Slavery
All employees at Handelsbanken completed Group-wide mandatory training on ethical standards and sustainability at Handelsbanken in 2019, including a training module on anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing.
Instructions and procedures are in place, so that employees understand how they are to respond if they are faced with, or suspect, a case of modern slavery or human trafficking.
Modern Slavery Awareness
At Handelsbanken we have trust and respect for the individual and we encourage a culture of ‘speaking up’. Our employees can report unethical behaviour or practices without fear of reprisal through internal and external channels set out in our ‘whistleblowing policy’. In the UK the whistleblowing policy is supported by annual training.
Handelsbanken plc will continue to develop its procedures and arrangements in relation to sustainability during 2020. A UK Sustainability Manager is now in place and a Sustainability Council, comprised of central department representatives, as well as a Regional Sustainability Forum, have been set up to govern and develop Handelsbanken plc’s sustainability strategies. A climate change risk steering group has been set up to address the challenges and risks from climate change, and to support the Bank’s customers in their transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
This statement has been published pursuant to section 54 (1) of the Modern Slavery Statement 2015 and constitutes Handelsbanken plc’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the 2020 financial year. It was approved by the Board of Directors of Handelsbanken plc on 19 March 2020.