Closing their accounts en masse

Ooops.

Halifax customers are closing their accounts en masse today after its social media team told them to leave if they don’t like their new pronoun badges for staff in what is being branded one of the biggest PR disasters in British business history.

One account holder told MailOnline they have already pulled out investments and savings worth £450,000 while many more said they are closing ISAs, cutting up credit cards or transferring balances to rivals after they accused the bank of ‘alienating’ them with ‘pathetic virtue signalling’.

It’s Andy M, you see. He told them to close their accounts if they don’t like Halifax’s Pronoun Religion, so they said we’ll do that little thing.

The Mail adds the piquant detail that Halifax “was propped up by the taxpayer to the tune of £30billion as part of a 2008 bailout.” That’s quite a lot of money, really – not pretend money but literal money.

One customer replied: ‘There’s no ambiguity about the name “Gemma”. It’s a female person’s name. In other words, it’s pathetic virtue signalling and is seen as such by almost everyone who has responded to the initial tweet. Why are you trying to alienate people?’ Within 20 minutes a member of the Halifax social media team, calling himself Andy M, replied: ‘If you disagree with our values, you’re welcome to close your account’.

Andy M’s response has outraged customers, and seen hundreds claiming they will boycott the bank with many saying they have closed their accounts. Others have cut up their credit cards or getting rid of insurance policies and said the threat was the final straw after it cut 27 branches alone in 2022.

One told MailOnline: ‘My entire family have now transferred their accounts to Nationwide, cards etc. Loss to Halifax is in excess of 450K in investment accounts and savings’. Another said: ‘I closed my credit card account today, after fifteen years of being a customer’, while one exiting customer who is now changing ISAs said: ‘If they politely said try to use the pronouns on the badge – I would have done my best’, but left because he perceived their threat meant ‘there would be hell to pay if I got it wrong’.

I didn’t think it meant that, I just thought it was insulting on top of the standing insult to women.

Former Doctor Who scriptwriter Gareth Roberts, a Halifax customer since 1988, told the bank: ‘I’m a homosexual man. I’m appalled by your adoption of this homophobic, woman-hating claptrap, and by your attitude to customers making perfectly reasonable objections to it.’ Company director Anders Jersby ended his Halifax car insurance policy and said he would never deal with Halifax again thanks to ‘their antics with pronouns’.

When the Doctor Who people don’t like you, you’re not as hip as you think you are.

Natwest, Nationwide and HSBC all have optional pronoun policies for badges. HSBC even shared the Halifax post, tweeting its 101,000 followers: ‘We stand with and support any bank or organisation that joins us in taking this positive step forward for equality and inclusion. It’s vital that everyone can be themselves in the workplace’.

Oh ffs. Now banks are “standing with” other banks in solidarity over…pronouns. Right on, brother!

And it’s not just Andy M, either.

On its website, Halifax say any customers they deem to be ‘transphobic’ could have their accounts closed.

Underneath a page titled ‘what we stand for’, they say: ‘We stand against discrimination and inappropriate behaviour in all forms, whether racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic or ableist, regardless of whether this happens in our branches, offices, over the phone or online on our social media channels.

‘Such action may include account closure or contacting the police if necessary.’

More standing. Other banks Stand With Halifax, and Halifax Stands Against whatever it decides is transphobic and all the other listed items. They’ll report you to the cops “if necessary” i.e. if they think you deserve it.

H/t Lady Mondegreen

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