Natwest refuses account for author of book on porn censorship

Journalist Jane Fae

Journalist Jane Fae

Feminist writer Jane Fae says she has been stopped from opening a  bank account for her new project – a history of the censorship of pornography.

Fae,  a contributor to Index on Censorship, had agreed with NatWest bank to set up a business account to handle the incomes and outgoings for her new self-published book, Taming the Beast.

But according to a blog post today, Fae says the bank contacted her this morning (7 February) and reneged on the agreement.

Blogging at Faeinterrupted, the journalist, who has written for outlets from the Guardian to the Daily Mail (as well as this site) reported that she had gone through all the normal procedures with the bank and signed up for a new account. She goes on:

Then, this morning, out of the blue, the call. She had since run it past her boss…her manager.

Who was less impressed. “NatWest don’t do this sort of thing”, she explained.

“Er, what sort of thing? Publishing? Academic work?”

“No: the subject matter”.

I was incredulous. “You mean that NatWest will not sanction someone writing ABOUT a particular topic? Are there any other topics you’d rather people not write about in case, you know, in case it frightens the admin staff? Perhaps we had better not write about rape, or vioilence against women or…”.

Who knows.”

Fae is waiting for a proper explanation from NatWest.

A spokeswoman for the bank told Index the issue was being investigated

Index on Censorship will keep you up to date with developments.

UPDATE 07/01/14 16:05. A NatWest spokeswoman has been in touch with Index to tell us that the business manager of the branch in Stamford, Lincolnshire is arranging to meet Jane Fae next week. The bank says “the issue is not closed”.

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