A trans woman was left furious after bank staff refused to do business with her because they thought she sounded like a man.
As Ellen Westerleigh from the UK explained, her local HSBC bank refused to let her handle her financial affairs over the phone because they think she “sounds like a man.”
They allegedly also discriminated against her by sending her a new card with the prefix ‘Mr’ even though she on several occasions let them know she is now a woman, NottinghamshireLive reported.
According to Ellen, HSBC employees told her she doesn’t sound like a woman on several occasions after she tried to do business over the phone after already answering her security questions.
“I opened the account in October last year. I had to order a new card and they sent a card that said ‘Mr’ rather than ‘Miss’. They said it was an error,” the dissatisfied customer complained.
“Every time I ring up to speak about my account they say I ‘don’t sound like a woman’. I have to prove who I am and I shouldn’t be having to do that.”
She added: “I know I sound like a man but that is not the point. I do feel uncomfortable ringing up my bank. It has happened three or four times and it is ridiculous.
“It has got to a point where I have to go into my branch and show my ID, and I do not live near my branch. The nearest is the city center.”
As Ellen revealed, she officially changed her identity after feeling trapped in a male body for many years. While her friends and family are allegedly supportive of the changes, Ellen says she hopes her bank will take her more seriously after her decision to speak out.
“When I speak to them on the phone it ruins their image. It gets to the point where I have told them several times ‘I am transgender’. It is in my file. I should not have to keep saying it. They do not take the trans community seriously. They just think we are not that gender,” she added.
After Ellen’s complaint, HSBC confirmed they were looking into her case and promised to make the necessary changes in their system and the training of staff to be more inclusive.
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