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'.
Some pathetic libertarians love talking "muh private companies" though...
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'.
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.
They also threaten their customers with police if they are deemed not politically correct enough:
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.'
So will they also monitor your social media/internet use now? 1984 was truly prophetic. Also, everyone likes to complain about boomers and stuff, but what about millennials?
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.
Woke capitalism is our greatest misfortune...