Banks told not to impose moral compass on legitimate small businesses

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell says banks are wrong to discriminate against legitimate small businesses in the adult industry by blocking their access to essential financial services.

The ASBFEO noted that workers in the said industry have continuously contacted their office, complaining that they have been denied banking services such as merchant facilities to allow them to conduct their business.

“This is an ongoing issue and we have expressed our concerns to the Australian Banking Association and individual banks involved,” Carnell said. “There aren’t too many Australians who would rely on banks to be the moral arbiter for society.”

An EROS Association report recently found that financial services providers were treating adults-only businesses unfavourably on the basis of arbitrary moral guidelines or broad internal policies skewed against the sex industry rather than tailored assessments of financial risk.

“These actions are not only unfair, they are undermining efforts to combat the black economy,” Carnell stated. “Bank accounts and financial services are essential for any legal business to operate.”

There are an estimated 25,000 people employed in the adult industry, which has an annual turnover of $2.6 billion.

The ASBFEO is encouraging workers who feel they have been discriminated against by a financial service provider to contact them for assistance.

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