Milton was shocked to learn that Conservative Party activist Tara Hewitt was turned away from the Liscard branch Lloyds TSB as the bank has no mechanism for allowing transgender people to open accounts.
It was alleged that the tax payer backed bank refused to serve Ms Hewitt, who was later contacted by Lloyds legal team who continued to refuse her access to an account. Ms Hewitt was in the process of setting up an account and informed the cashier that she was transgender. She was then rudely told that by the cashier that she ‘already knew.’ Ms Hewitt was asked for details including previous gender details, her previous name, what gender marker to put on the account, whether she had had surgery and what type, which she claims is in ‘breach of section 22 gender recognition act’ and something no other bank has ever required of her.
Ms Hewitt contacted the bank’s legal team and branch advisor, who contacted the procedural adviser who claimed the branch was right to ask for so many details. The complaints team promised to get back to Ms Hewitt yesterday, but so far have not done so.
Ms Hewitt tells Milton that the Branch advisor told her
‘legally everyone had to give them that information even though:
a) no one else is asked medical questions
b) trans people legally don’t have to disclose their previous details
c) her judgement on who to insist for those details is based on her judging if they are trans based on what they look like’
A spokesman for Lloyds said
’I would like the opportunity to look into this complaint and provide an informed reply. I will ask our team here to look into it but, as discussed last night, it may not be possible to get the information required over the weekend as it will require speaking to the branch colleague to understand what information was requested from Ms Hewitt.
As I’m sure you would expect, we have an obligation to know our customer and, as part of this process, we are required to carry out a series of checks when opening an account. This will involve asking whether a customer has been known by any previous names. Without this information we are unable to proceed with an application.
We are sensitive to the individual needs of our customers and do not operate a policy of discrimination.’
Update: Milton has learnt that Lloyds have since contacted Ms Hewitt, fully apologised, and have promised to provide extra training on trans issues to all their staff.
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