Majority Of High Street Banks Are Members Of Stonewall Diversity Schemes

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high street bank HSBC

Most High Street banks in the UK signed up to diversity schemes run by the controversial charity Stonewall.

Stonewall’s Diversity Champions scheme includes guidance for employers on the use of pronouns and gender-neutral spaces.

The charity also hosts a top 100 index which keep tabs on employers and their diversity and inclusion

Lenders are now facing questions over their links to the charity after closing the bank accounts of some people with gender-critical views.

The Telegraph reports: A vicar who questioned his building society’s Pride branding had his account closed, while a Scottish blogger believes action was taken by his bank over his stance on gender issues.

Stonewall’s Diversity Champions scheme includes guidance to employers on gender-neutral spaces and the use of pronouns. The company also runs a top 100 index that measures employers on diversity and inclusion.

HSBC, which allows customers to register as gender-neutral, is the top ranking bank in Stonewall’s annual Equality Index, and Natwest, which is still one-third owned by the Government, is linked to the charity.

Lloyds Banking Group, which runs its own branches as well as Halifax and Bank of Scotland, was the only major lender to fail to respond to queries about the scheme, but was previously named as the country’s top employer by Stonewall.

Barclays, which offers private medical cover for employees transitioning, and Nationwide, which encourages staff to use pronouns in email signatures, are also among Stonewall’s top 100 employers. Santander is a member of the index, while TSB is a member of the Diversity Champions Scheme.

A number of high-profile organisations including the BBC, Channel 4, the Cabinet Office, and the Department of Health have stopped working with Stonewall amid concerns over its schemes.

Guidance has included describing mothers as a “parent who has given birth”, to remove gendered language and to allow those who self-identify as women to use female toilets and changing rooms.

The Information Commissioner has previously found that the index and the Diversity Champions scheme allowed Stonewall to exercise “a significant degree of influence over the policies that participating members operate”.

Last week Nigel Farage, the former Brexit Party leader, revealed that his bank had closed his account, and two former Brexit Party MEPs revealed that their accounts were also closed.

Since then, members of the public have accused banks of shutting down their accounts. Among them was Rev Richard Fothergill, a customer of Yorkshire Building Society for 17 years, whose account was closed days after he wrote to the bank to complain about its public messaging during Pride month.

Stuart Campbell, who runs the pro-independence Wings Over Scotland blog, had his accounts shut by First Direct, owned by HSBC, which he believes was over his stance on gender issues.

Barclays recently had to pay out £21,500 in compensation to the Core Issues Trust, a Christian ministry, after shutting its account over its stance on gender identity.

Niamh Harris
About Niamh Harris 15004 Articles
I am an alternative health practitioner interested in helping others reach their maximum potential.