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Are banks indirectly (or directly?!) discriminating against their customers?

(33 Posts)
Sloanemoody Thu 17-Nov-16 23:51:46

I contacted my bank last night regarding a query I had from an email I received from them. I've had the bank account since I was In high school. Years later I married a wonderful man who thankfully still puts up with me today! Although we decided my bank account was to remain solely mine, we made it into a joint account just in case he needed to get access to it. He did the same to his account for me. He never signed up for online banking or even ordered a card. However I recently found an email stating "important information about your account" was only addressed to him. I was intrigued to find out why this was as usually my online statement emails are just addressed as "dear customer". I contacted NatWest via the messenger FB page. What began as an inquiry soon turned into a rather disturbing truth. At first I thought they had prioritised my husbands name on the account. I hinted towards this belief but they assured me that this was not the case as all joint account holders are emailed separately to their registered email. By pure fault my husband had not added a separate email so his emails were being directed to mine. If he had done so then my bank would have sent important information to my husband, but not thought it was important enough to send directly to me, the account user. Evidence has come to light that they had actually sent this information based on gender. Looking through my older emails from my bank, those addressed to me personally were not deemed as "important information regarding your account" but more of "enter this competition to win 2 years of payments on your mortgage". And the one email I have in my inbox that holds information which my husband also received was titled in a very different way to his, yet held the same information. Even though I have been a customer of this bank longer then my husband has had his name on it, my bank decided that due to gender advertising, it was unnecessary to send me important information I may have needed to know regarding my account. So basically what I wanted to know is, do any of you ladies out there have similar emails from your banks?! And more interestingly how does this work for ladies (or even men if there are any on here!) who are in a same sex relationship with a joint account? Does this mean you are missing out entirely on important information regarding your account?! Please let me know What you think and if you discover the same truth Please let me know!

buckeejit Thu 17-Nov-16 23:54:18

I added my ex to my account & Barclays put his name first. I wasn't bloody happy about it.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Thu 17-Nov-16 23:57:27

Exactly the same thing happened to me with Halifax. Sexist twats.

pourmeanotherdrink Fri 18-Nov-16 00:10:15

Our bank always puts both names on any correspondence and mine first. I'm not in the UK though.

Sloanemoody Fri 18-Nov-16 00:55:09

Out of curiosity, which country are you in?

Sloanemoody Fri 18-Nov-16 00:57:47


Annoying isn't it?! I find its with anything we sign up together on! Did you also happen to notice if you were receiving different email information from your ex?

OlennasWimple Fri 18-Nov-16 01:30:13

Nationwide insisted I should be the lead applicant for our mortgage, as I earned more than DH, but address all correspondence to Mr & Mrs Wimple (in that order)

OlennasWimple Fri 18-Nov-16 01:32:36

But we get identical correspondence for the things that they send to us separately (annual mortgage statement, change in interest rates etc)

KickAssAngel Fri 18-Nov-16 03:20:16

In the UK Barclays put DH first because he wears a penis. Then they did a big share handout. Shares can only be owned by one person, not held jointly, so DH got ALL the shares. That was done on ALL joint accounts for Barclays.

During the 90s there were a lot of banks/building societies that gave out shares to customers, and ALL of them will have gone to males on joint accounts. It must have come to millions of pounds across the country.

Thankfully DH is an honest man and we both view all money as joint money.

So, our latest bank account, I insisted on going first, and when we order checkbooks (US) I put my name first. DH and I take turns being first now on any major paperwork. He's first on house ownership, and utilities, I'm first on mortgage and bank account.

scaryclown Fri 18-Nov-16 03:25:49

Thats so weird. Quaint "speak to Mr' stuff faded out in the late 1980s. and my uni was more than 50% female and i don't know any couple where the man is in charge of finances.

KickAssAngel Fri 18-Nov-16 03:36:47

But still almost all mail, joint accounts, mortgages, home ownership etc. uses Mr and Mrs as the default.

ChocChocPorridge Fri 18-Nov-16 06:12:39

Happened to me with Barclays too (also an account I'd had since Uni, DP also has never used his card, let alone signed up for online banking or anything). I even remember reading about this sort of thing here, and making sure that when I added him to the account he was listed as the second person. Alphabetically (both names - in fact, middle names too) he's after me etc. There was no reason to put him first other than sexism.

I complained, they fixed it, and gave me £50.

ChocChocPorridge Fri 18-Nov-16 06:16:58

I will say, the mortgage company was always excellent - knew I was first point of contact, and put us both on all written communication (joint mortgage, DP the higher earner at the time), our joint life insurance always send (reams) of duplicate documentation to us both equally - so there are companies out there that aren't lazy and do this right.

Estate agents though - the one we rented through had never met DP, but sent important documents straight to him (and he was in Hong Kong for 6 weeks at the time, so if we didn't open each other's mail we'd have been in trouble), and the one I rent my house out through was given my Dad as a local contact (he lives 10 mins up the road) - and now have started emailing him rather than me about all decisions about the property (Dad forwards them on of course - but I've reminded them repeatedly and they keep doing it)

FreshwaterSelkie Fri 18-Nov-16 06:30:12

Totally agree that there is implicit sexism in banking systems. 'my first post on here was me being incoherent with rage because my bank had randomly decided for no apparent reason, to change my name on all accounts to my husbands name. i kept my name on marriage, MrsFreshwaterHusbandname does not exist, and never has. It turned out to be a specifically French quirk - the nom de jeune fille. in france, though women mostly take their husbands name on marriage, for legal purposes like voting, buying houses etc, you are known for life by your maiden name. They'd done a review, noticed the name difference and decided for me that i should really be MmeFreshwaterHusbandName.

RAGE!! silly woman doesn't even know her own name!! I think actual flames came out of my ears.

eurochick Fri 18-Nov-16 06:48:05

I added my husband to an account I have had for years so we could use it as a joint account. His name now comes first. I'm the higher earner and manage most of our finances.

ceeveebee Fri 18-Nov-16 06:59:12

I had this when applying for mortgages. I am the higher earner and I do all the admin so I put my name as applicant 1 and DH as the joint applicant. When the paperwork arrived they had switched them around so that everything was addresses to DH and I was a joint applicant!

PoisonWitch Fri 18-Nov-16 09:31:16

Where I work I have to send letters to people and their accountants. Often I don't have the name of a specific accountant so have to write a letter to the company, needing a plural of Dear xxx. I can have dear sir, dear sir or madam or dear sirs. Sirs is the only plural. It fucks me right off.

libprog Fri 18-Nov-16 11:25:51

PoisonWitch that is why I write Dead x team

lougle Fri 18-Nov-16 11:32:00

The Cooperative Bank don't seem to struggle with this. Our account name is Mrs X and Mr Y Surname and letters are addressed as such.

FreshwaterSelkie Fri 18-Nov-16 12:19:34

that is why I write Dead x team

Harsh grin. It's pretty annoying, but I doubt it's worth death threats.

libprog Fri 18-Nov-16 14:31:00

It's a wonder I haven't been arrested yet.

But to clarify anyway, Dear......and x is the company/addressees

user1479296630 Fri 18-Nov-16 14:34:58

Nationwide did this to me, after I added my DH to my account. Also they sent tax documents for an account solely in my name to my husband.

mollie123 Fri 18-Nov-16 14:40:25

Someone has to be first. In fairness it should be 50/50 whose name comes first but given the problems in the world is it really something to get so upset and claim discrimination hmm.

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Fri 18-Nov-16 14:42:34

Smile (part of the Co-op group) send the same info to each of us, they do have DH as first on the account, but it is quite likely we listed him first when opening the account (as at the time he was the only one earning).

LordPeterWimsey Fri 18-Nov-16 19:58:53

On our First Direct bank account we've never had a problem - we put my name first when we opened it (they had boxes for first and second account holders) and they've continued to put my name first on correspondence since. Our mortgage, on the other hand - the rate is brilliant so I put up with it, but Santander are sexist bastards. I do all the correspondence and phone calls, my name was first on the application, I was the higher earner when we took out the mortgage and am now the only earner. Do they take any of that into account? Do they fuck.

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