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Bank stops asking for your mother’s maiden name in case you have two dads

Nick Duffy November 17, 2014

The Royal Bank of Scotland could stop asking customers for their mother’s maiden name – because a lot of people have two dads.

RBS – one of the five major retail banks in the UK – raised the common security question as part of an internal review of inclusion policies.

Head of inclusion Marjorie Strachan told the Times that the question could be axed, as it is essentially unanswerable for a growing number of people with two mothers or two fathers.

The review could also lead to a more inclusive gender-neutral approach, which might also see the introduction of the ‘Mx’ title, as an optional alternative to Mr and Mrs for customers who don’t want to be forced to choose a gender.

Marjorie Strachan continued: “We are looking at unconscious bias.

“If we think about something as simple as using neutral language, that can be a good starting point.”

“We have considered it. It’s something we’re looking at as one of the options, although we’ve usually followed the same nomenclature that the census would use.

“We recognise it can be extremely upsetting if a customer who is undergoing gender re-assignment walks into a branch and doesn’t have an easy option in explaining their needs.”

The head of HSBC in the UK, Antonio Simoes, said last week: “We’re in London, we’re in 2014.

“It’s not acceptable that we take for granted all the work done by others on issues such as marriage equality.”

Brighton & Hove council adopted the trans-friendly Mx title in 2013, after an inclusivity panel made the recommendation.

More: bank, Employment, England, Gay, mother's maiden name, RBS, Royal Bank of Scotland, security, security question

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