Halifax customers have threatened to close their accounts after the firm added pronouns to its staff name badges in a move that was branded ‘nonsense’.
The bank announced on Twitter yesterday that it was making the change, but said it would be optional for staff.
Beneath a post that read ‘pronouns matter’ and the hashtag ‘ItsAPeopleThing’, it showed a photo of a female staff member’s name badge which featured ‘she/her/hers’ in brackets.
Some customers immediately said they wanted to close their accounts as they hit out at the move.
One wrote: ‘For a moment there, I was hoping this was a joke photo on a parody account, then I saw the verified tick now I’m thinking I should close my Halifax account and take my money elsewhere.’
Another simply asked: ‘How do I close my account?’
The critical tweets prompted the bank to defend its new policy by responding to the tweets. It said in one post: ‘We strive for inclusion, equality and quite simply, in doing what’s right. If you disagree with our values, you’re welcome to close your account.’
The bank also gave instructions to customers who wanted to close their accounts, saying they could call them or put a request in writing.
Another critic questioned whether displaying pronouns ‘really’ mattered when ‘things like climate change and war’ are happening.
Halifax responded to the tweet directly, with staff member ‘Dave’ writing: ‘We want to create a safe and accepting environment that opens the conversation around gender identity.
‘We care about our customers and colleagues’ individual preferences, for us, it’s a very simple solution to accidental misgendering.’