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Halifax slammed over 'nonsense' staff pronoun badges as customers threaten to close accounts
29 June 2022, 13:00 | Updated: 29 June 2022, 13:06
Customers have slammed Halifax and threatened to close their accounts after the bank announced it was adding pronouns to staff name badges.
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The bank shared a photo on Twitter of a name badge for an employee called 'Gemma', with the pronouns “she, her, hers” printed underneath.
"Pronouns matter #ItsAPeopleThing" the bank captioned the photo, leading to a flurry of comments from furious customers.
In a response to some criticism, Halifax told customers to close their accounts if they disagree with its stance.
One person tweeted the bank, asking: "How do I close my account?"
Halifax replied: “You can close your account by calling us on 0345 720 3040 or putting your request in writing to: Halifax Account Closure Team, PO Box 548, Leeds, LS1 1WU.”
Halifax said the measure was brought in to prevent "accidental misgendering" and said it was "optional".
One person said there is "no need" for the move, adding they will be "blocking" the bank on Twitter.
Another asked: "Isn't "Gemma" so obviously a she/ her that it doesn't need stating?"
The move was slammed as "nonsense", with a third person adding: “Do they really matter though? I mean...when you have such things like climate change and war going on."
Despite some criticism, many people supported the bank's decision to add pronouns to staff badges and praised its "inclusivity".
Indeed, politeness and courtesy matter. Casually misgendering someone is not polite or courteous. So pronouns *do* matter.— Cassandra Schadenfreude (@Frances_Coppola) June 29, 2022
One person hit out at those criticising the bank's post, saying: "Absolutely incredible how irrational and offended transphobic people get over absolutely nothing."
While writer and speaker on banking, finance and economics, Cassandra Schadenfreude, wrote: "Indeed, politeness and courtesy matter. Casually misgendering someone is not polite or courteous. So pronouns *do* matter."
Explaining the decision to some people on twitter, Halifax said: “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.”
The bank also said the option to add pronouns to staff badges was “completely optional.”
A Halifax spokesperson said: “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 so, for us, it’s a very simple solution to accidental misgendering.”