An Anglican vicar has slammed Yorkshire Building Society for closing his account after he accused them of promoting gender ideology.
Rev Richard Fothergill, a longstanding customer with the building society, wrote to them in June to complain about their public messaging during Pride month.
The 62-year-old says within four days, he received a reply telling him his internet savings account would be closed, The Times reports.
Rev Fothergill, of Windermere, Cumbria, has since accused the banking giant of ‘bullying’ and said: ‘I wasn’t even aware that our relationship had a problem. They are a financial house – they are not there to do social engineering. I think they should concentrate their efforts on managing money, instead of promoting LGBT ideology.
‘I know cancel culture exists and this is my first first-hand experience of it. I wouldn’t want this bullying to happen to anyone else.’
The retired vicar insists his observations were a polite rebuttal of transgenderism, in response to material on YBS’s website.
But the building society wrote it has a ‘zero tolerance approach to discrimination’ and their relationship with the customer had ‘irrevocably broken down’.
Rev Fothergill, who no longer serves a parish but founded the Filling Station evangelical network online, wrote his letter on June 18 in response to a monthly email from YBS asking for feedback.
He says he penned a couple of paragraphs objecting to trans ideology — the concept of a gender identity separate from the body — being relayed to children.
Insisting he had been ‘polite all the way through’ he rounded on the bank and said they should be ‘worrying about financial issues’ – not LBGT ones.
YBS, which looks after savings over three million customers, disputed Rev Fothergill’s description of what occurred.
A spokesman said: ‘We never close savings accounts based on different opinions regarding beliefs or feedback provided by our customers.
‘We only ever make the difficult decision to close a savings account if a customer is rude, abusive, violent or discriminates in any way, based on the specific facts, comments and behaviour in each case.’
Nigel Farage told MailOnline yesterday that three members of his family have recently had accounts closed by UK banks – as lenders were accused of dumping customers who say things they don’t like on gender and LGBT issues or Brexit.
Mr Farage has not named the bank who plan to shut his own personal and business accounts this summer, but is understood to be Coutts, the famous 327-year-old private bank whose clients include members of the Royal Family.
It is owned by high street giant NatWest, which is still 38.6% owned by the British taxpayer after it was bailed out following the 2008 financial crisis. MailOnline has asked Coutts and Nat West to comment.
Comparing Britain to ‘communist China’, Mr Farage told MailOnline: ‘Some of these ridiculous rules and closures have been extended to my immediate family. I am enraged and also have a feeling of guilt that members of my family are being punished for my campaign to leave the European Union’.
Warning that anyone in Britain could be next he added: ‘The banking industry in the UK has become politicised. We are going down a road where anybody in Britain could say something on Facebook or Twitter that a bank doesn’t like and lose their accounts’.
First Direct has also been accused of closing the account of the founder Wings over Scotland pro-Scottish independence blog, run by journalist Stuart Campbell. Mr Campbell has suggested that his accounts were closed because of his views on gender and sex, including declaring: ‘Women don’t have penises’.