halifax bank pronouns

The critical tweets prompted the bank to defend its new policy by responding to the tweets.
'Just closed my Halifax account. They can stick their pronouns up their/his/her a**e. '

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'.

The row began this week when Halifax, which was propped up by the taxpayer to the tune of £30billion as part of a 2008 bailout, tweeted its 118,000 followers on Tuesday revealing that it would allow staff to display their pronouns on their name badges, in a post that read 'pronouns matter'.

halifax bank pronouns closed accountes

The row began on Tuesday when Halifax posted on Twitter a photo of a uniform badge with the words 'she/her/hers' below the name Gemma and the declaration: 'Pronouns matter'.
It showed a photo of a female staff member's name badge, which featured 'she/her/hers' in brackets under the name Gemma, and said the policy was to help avoid 'accidental misgendering'.

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'.
halifax bank cash machines
© In Pictures/Getty
People are seen using Halifax cash machines in Manchester. The bank has refused to rescind its pronoun policy
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.
halifax bank pronouns customer close account

This angry customer who claimed to have been with Halifax since the 1990s said they were moving their mortgage, cancelling their credit cards and closing their deposit account
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'.

One customer from the Midlands said he has transferred £1,100 from his credit card to another company today, and said: 'I've closed my account....sick to death of woke'.

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'.

Branding expert Martin Townsend said Halifax's policy is a 'Ratner moment' and an 'astonishing' mistake that will be considered one of the biggest PR blunders in recent history.

He told LBC: 'It's a Ratner moment I would say. It's astonishing that they do something to make themselves look right on and virtue signalling - and they end up looking like the most old fashioned bullies, telling them: "If you don't like it you're welcome to leave".

'It's extraordinary. Who treats their customers like that? I've never heard of a company inviting their customers to go. It's so typical of debate these days: "If you don't like it, off you go". How is that inclusive? There are big questions about Halifax today and who came up with it'.

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'.

Mr Townsend referred to Gerald Ratner, who infamously caused the value of the jewellery firm he was chief executive of to plummet after branding one of its products as 'total c**p' in a speech.

More than 150 social media users have since said they are boycotting the former building society after being lectured about inclusivity.
halifax bank account closed pronouns
haifax bank pronouns accounts closed
Some have cut up their credit cards while others are lodging complaints about Halifax's social media manager who, when customers accused the bank of 'virtue-signalling', told them: 'If you disagree with our values, you're welcome to close your account.'

One user said: 'Just closed my Halifax account after 19 years with them. They can stick their pronouns up their/his/her a**e'.
halifax bank pronouns accounts closed
Another said: 'My wife and I have followed this advice, partly due to Halifax's current virtue signalling but mostly the eagerness of AndyM to lose customers.Mortgage is being moved, credit cards have been cancelled, deposit account closed. Had been with you since the 90s. Nice work.'

Last night customer Caroline Ffiske, a former Conservative councillor, said: 'It is incredibly rude for Halifax to say to customers if you don't like it go away. It's astonishing to have a bank behaving like a trans activist.'

Halifax said its pronoun move was designed to avoid 'accidental misgendering'.

By last night close to 10,000 people had protested on social media. One woman said she had closed her Halifax credit card account over the 'crazy' policy.

'I don't want to be having conversations about gender when I go into my bank,' said the 50-year-old psychologist from London. 'Frankly, I'd rather they be focused on lowering interest rates.'

Another woman said she had moved her savings account to Nat West, adding: 'I want to do my banking and not have a nonsensical, often deeply misogynistic religion pushed on me.

'Telling customers they should go elsewhere if they don't share their beliefs is an incredible statement for a business to make.

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.'

Halifax would not say how many customers had closed their accounts this week but there was clear evidence that its defiant attitude to those who expressed their objections was backfiring.

On BBC Radio 4 yesterday financial commentator Matthew Lynn warned: 'Companies don't need to aggressively take positions on what are still quite divisive social issues. It probably didn't come from the CEO - it comes from a bunch of millennial 20-somethings running the Twitter feed.

'To tell customers that they should go and close down their accounts and go to a different bank because they have a slightly different view on this is way too aggressive.'

One man said a customer services assistant was 'deliberately obstructive' after he told her why he wanted to close his account.

He added that the assistant 'doubled down and said they're a business of inclusiveness and equality and then closed the chat but not my account'.

But another customer said: 'To be fair, I've just closed my account and the staff were so apologetic. Clearly not all the Halifax staff agree with this extremist ideology.'

Several major organisations now encourage staff to state preferred gender pronouns either in emails or on badges, but Halifax is the first to suggest customers should leave if they disagree with it.

The bank has said the badge pronouns are optional for staff, but Tory MP Mark Jenkinson said the policy would put pressure on any not wishing to join in.

Halifax, which is owned by Lloyds Banking Group, did not respond to requests to comment.