A transgender woman was blocked from accessing her Santander account for a week because the bank identified her as a man.
When makeup artist Drew Dalziel rang the bank to query a charge on her account at the end of July, she was told by a customer services representative that her account was being blocked despite the fact that she had provided the correct security information.
Dalziel was told that she was not allowed to access her accounts because she "sounded like a man."
She explained that she was currently undergoing vocal training and asked the bank to unlock her account but was told by Santander's complaints team that they were "following procedures" and therefore unable to do so.
Dalziel had told Santander in March that she was transitioning, but apart from altering her gender in their database, the bank did not include any additional notes.
Bank representatives told her that they would unlock her account if she provided a copy of her ID, but this was not possible as Dalziel's passport was being updated with her new name and gender at the time.
Santander apologised to Dalziel for the "distress and inconvenience" she experienced.
"Last year, we worked with our contact centres to develop a process to support customers who are transitioning. Unfortunately, the process was not followed and we caused distress and inconvenience. We have offered Miss Dalziel a gesture of goodwill and since being able to verify her identity correctly we have unblocked her account with immediate effect," a spokesperson said.
Dalziel told The Telegraph: "While I can see why this happened, it has been stressful. I haven't had access to my money and have had to borrow to get by. I personally told the bank that I was transitioning and gave them my new deed poll papers, so they knew of my situation. I hope this doesn't happen to other transgender customers."