HSBC is to let customers choose more non-gender specific titles for their retail bank accounts.
Instead of Mr, Mrs, Ms or the gender neutral Mx, customers can choose from nine titles including “M” and “Misc”, the banking giant said.
The prefixes are designed to give non-binary people more choices if they don’t want to be identified by gender.
HSBC added that it had simplified the process that lets customers change their gender on an account.
Other banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, also allow customers to have gender neutral titles.
In November High Street lender Metrobank started to offer the “Mx” prefix on its forms.
HSBC’s titles will be applied across a customer’s account, including their bank cards and correspondence.
The banking giant will let people choose gender neutral titles from the following list:
- Mx, which is pronounced “Mix” or “Mux”
- Ind, an abbreviation of individual
- M, an abbreviation used in France
- Misc, an abbreviation of miscellaneous
- Mre, for “mystery”
- Msr, a combination of Miss and Sir
- Myr, used in other parts of the world
- Pr, an abbreviation of person, pronounced “per”
- Sai, pronounced “sigh”, used in Asia
- Ser, pronounced “sair” used in Latin America
People who wish to change the gender on their account need to bring a passport, driving licence or birth certificate that supports the change of gender and update their details in a branch, HSBC said.
Stuart Barette, trans lead of HSBC’s UK Pride Network, said in a video that when he went to the bank to change his gender he found it “terrifying”.
In theory, updating gender records should be as easy as changing marital status, he told the BBC.
But in fact, transgender people “have to come out to the branch”, and the “reality can be nerve-wracking.”
“Coming out is always tricky,” he said. “It’s a big step for the customer.”
He said that the changes, which include updating training for bank staff, are about making it a lot easier for customers to have the confidence to go into branches.
HSBC decided to extend the number of gender-neutral prefixes available to customers after feedback from employees, Mr Barette added.
A spokesperson for LGBT lobby group Stonewall said: “It’s great to see an increasing number of organisations prioritise issues affecting trans people.
“The banking sector has taken huge strides towards making lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees and customers feel valued.
“This was demonstrated earlier this year by Lloyds Banking Group, who came number one in our top 100 LGBT inclusive employers in Britain.”
There are no official figures for the number of transgender people in the UK, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Source: BBC News