The EU has accelerated its work to clarify the expectations on the financial sector regarding environmental impact and has developed new EU-regulations for sustainability covering the entire financial sector. An example is the new taxonomy that will serve as a tool for classifying investments that are environmentally sustainable.
A common taxonomy provides mutual guidelines for what investments that should be called “green”, and Swedbank will use the EU Taxonomy to further develop its business operations, products and services.
Business impacts for Swedbank
Swedbank will be affected by the EU Sustainable Finance Regulations in several areas, as Swedbank provides services in the asset management and insurance area as well as in corporate and retail lending.
For Swedbank to be compliant with the EU legislation package several activities are to be implemented. Examples of such activities are improved sustainability-related information on investment products, risk management practices within asset management and adjusted investment management processes and specific training for employees in order to increase their awareness of sustainable finance to ensure high quality sustainability advice to our customers.
Meeting the increased requirements from the EU Sustainable Finance Regulations means additional costs for all businesses active in the financial industry, e.g. increased costs for personnel, training, IT-systems & reporting.
Proactive work to mitigate risks related to the EU legislations
Swedbank is performing a regular overview on how the regulatory change will re-shape the market. In parallel, the sustainability strategy has been reviewed to strengthen the sustainability integration throughout the business areas, in the business processes and in the strategic targets.
The EU sustainable finance regulation also impacts the sustainability governance model and the policy framework which are revised and improved in order to better manage the current and upcoming legislative changes.
An increased amount of resources is also directed to increase the capacity and insights on sustainability matters throughout the Swedbank Group. All employees within Swedbank have mandatory training on sustainability and during 2020 additional training on climate change specifically has been launched.