Patrons ‘closing their accounts en masse’ after bank tells critics of pronoun badges to buzz off

Lest you think the war against the “woke” is constrained to the United States, Britons are teaching banking giant Halifax to be careful what it wishes for after its social media manager invited customers to close their accounts if they aren’t keen on preferred pronouns being displayed on employees’ badges.

Now, according to the UK’s Daily Mail, “Britons are closing their accounts en masse.”

The scandal started when Halifax — which according to its website “has been and always will be, all about people” — tweeted out a photo of an employee named “Gemma” proudly announcing on her name badge that customers should refer to her using the pronouns “she/her/hers” along with the caption informing would-be patrons that “pronouns matter.”

Almost immediately, customers pushed back against the bank’s signal of virtue.

“For a moment there, I was hoping this was a joke photo on a parody account, then I saw the verified tick,” one Twitter user replied. “Now I’m thinking I should close my Halifax account and take my money elsewhere.”

One of the bank’s social media representatives who identified as “Lee” but neglected to indicate pronouns wrote back and explained that the bank strives for “inclusion and equality.”

“Giving our colleagues the option to add their pronouns on their badge,” said Lee, “helps to create an inclusive environment for our customers and colleagues.”

Another customer begged to differ.

“It does nothing of the sort, Lee,” he replied. “There’s no ambiguity about the name ‘Gemma’; It’s a female person’s name. In other words, it’s a pathetic virtue signalling and is seen as such by almost everyone who has responded to the initial tweet. Why are you trying to alienate people?”

That’s when social media manager “AndyM” stepped in to spark a public relations nightmare of epic proportions.

“We strive for inclusion, equality and quite simply, in doing what’s right,” he shot back. “If you disagree with our values, you’re welcome to close your account.”

And just like that, customers took Andy’s suggestion to heart and began withdrawing their money.

“One account holder told MailOnline that he and his family has already pulled out investments and savings worth £450,000 while many more said they are closing ISAs after they accused the bank of ‘alienating’ them with ‘pathetic virtue signalling,'” the Daily Mail reports. “Another reader cancelled his Halifax credit cards online today and told customer services: ‘Pronouns matter when used properly, I will not be told by a bank what I can can’t.’ Another critic said: ‘I care because they paid someone to come up with this rubbish but they keep closing branches.'”

Branding expert Martin Townsend called Halifax’s move an “astonishing” mistake and predicted it will go down as “one of the biggest PR blunders in recent history,” the Daily Mail writes.

“It’s a Ratner moment I would say,” he said, referring to British businessman Gerald Ratner who nearly destroyed his own business by jokingly trashing his company’s products. “It’s astonishing that they do something to make themselves look right on and virtue signalling — and they end up looking like the most old fashioned bullies, telling them: ‘If you don’t like it you’re welcome to leave.'”

“It’s extraordinary,” he continued. “Who treats their customers like that? I’ve never heard of a company inviting their customers to go. How is that inclusive?”

The denouncement of Halifax’s woke stance even angered former Doctor Who scriptwriter and a Halifax customer since 1988, Gareth Roberts.

“I’m a homosexual man,” he told the bank. “I’m appalled by your adoption of this homophobic, woman-hating claptrap, and by your attitude to customers making perfectly reasonable objections to it.”

According to the Daily Mail, “By last night [Friday] close to 10,000 people had protested on social media.”

“Thoughts and prayers for Andy M of Halifax today who, not unlike Icarus, flew far too close to the sun of his own self importance,” tweeted one user. “That sounds like a thunderstorm you can hear, very far away, is his boss yelling ‘you told them to WHAT?”



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