Banks accused of hypocrisy for not providing services to legitimate adult-only businesses

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The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has warned banks not to pass moral judgment on appropriately registered and regulated adults-only businesses.

Kate Carnell said she had written to the Australian Bankers Association to express her concern that banks are discriminating against the legitimate adult industry by withdrawing or failing to provide financial services.

“It’s a bit rich for the banks to decide which industries are moral and which aren’t,” the Ombudsman said.

A recent Eros Association report found the vast majority of industry participants experienced discrimination while applying for financial services.

One operator had merchant facilities withdrawn after more than 20 years with the same financial institution.

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

“It’s hypocritical that banks do not provide services to the adult industry when businesses are appropriately registered and regulated.

“Access to banking services is essential for a legitimate business to operate.”

Carnell said the banks’ actions were undermining efforts to combat the black economy.