October 5th, 2013

(no subject)

Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure


I have written before about the problems I’ve been experiencing with NatWest Bank.

NatWest has a policy whereby existing customers are required to declare as either male or female in order to register to operate an online account facility. Other banks do not require a gendered role in order to set up online services but do demand that new customers enter a gendered role in order to open an account as part of their in-house security procedures.

Two separate institutions informed me this was due to a directive from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the governing body that sets the regulations to which banks operating from within the UK must comply.

My enquiry to the FCA returned this response –

Pr Elan-Cane,

Thank you for your email of 26 September in which you raised your concerns about banks requiring confirmation of an individual's gender in order to open an account.  In particular, you asked whether this is a requirement of our regulations.

I can confirm that we do not require banks and other firms to include gender as part of the criteria for establishing proof of identity when opening an account.  The Money Laundering regulations 2007 (which are owned by Her Majesty's Treasury but enforced by us) do require that firms identify and verify customers, however they do not specify that the documentation used to do so contains information regarding gender. 

We are aware that some firms may not fully understand their obligations in this area, including the requirements of the Equality Act (which is overseen by the Equality and Human Rights Commission).  In addition to providing specific feedback to firms as these types of issues arise, we are currently considering our wider approach to certain customer groups across the financial services industry, into which we can factor your helpful feedback.

I hope this is helpful and many thanks for bringing this matter to our attention.

Yours sincerely .......

A rare and very welcome piece of good news!

Now, armed with information from the regulatory body, I shall conduct a survey of banking institutions in the UK while informing their executive officers of the regulatory rules on which they appear to be so wilfully ignorant. I will keep this site updated with the results and, in the meantime, I hope to find somewhere that I can move my current account.

Banks and other commercial organisations will of course argue that they need to adhere to the information contained within the customer’s identity document.

One more reason to support the call for ‘X’ passports in the United Kingdom.

See http://elancane.livejournal.com/17141.html to see how you can help.


A reminder that my two online petitions are still active –

Without the means to validate our identities through the provision of appropriate non gender-specific identity documentation we are destined to remain non citizens within our own country. This is something that governing authorities of other countries have started to recognise as a genuine human rights issue but identity outside the gendered societal structure remains an issue the UK government and HM Passport Office are still refusing to address.

If people who do not define as male or female were afforded the same statutory legal protection under the highly discriminatory Equality Act 2010 as other, more visible, marginalised sections within society, HM Passport Office would have been legally obliged to issue non gender-specific ‘X’ passports to those who desperately need them rather than sweep the issue under the carpet through the conduction of a phony ‘review’ as part of the government’s trans* equality action plan (see previous entries on this site for details)

If anyone has not signed the petitions (and what are you doing reading this if you do not support the principle of legitimate identity as a fundamental right?), I urge you to sign now and without further delay. Also forward to anyone who you believe would be willing to sign – whether they be partners, friends, colleagues and associates, neighbours, parents, GPs  – even your local representative politician!!!

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered