Behind the Paddle: Sex Industry and Banking

Behind the Paddle: Sex Industry and Banking

Welcome to the official blog of "Behind the Paddle" Podcast, where we delve into the latest episodes and discuss all things related to sex. In this blog post, we will be focusing on the third episode titled "Sex industry and banking" where Emily and Victoria discuss the challenges of banking while working in the sex industry.

Understanding the Banking Challenges in the Sex Industry

Emily and Victoria shed light on the difficulties faced by individuals in the sex industry when it comes to banking. With strict regulations and societal stigma, many banks refuse to provide financial services to those working in this industry. 

The sex worker charity "National Ugly Mugs" conducted research on this topic in 2022 and released a report called “Payment rejected”. The report highlighted the alarming rate at which sex workers are being denied banking services, making it challenging for them to manage their finances and access essential services.

According to the report, a staggering 70% of sex workers have experienced discrimination or refusal of banking services due to their occupation. This not only impacts their financial stability but also contributes to the stigma and marginalization that sex workers already face.

Addressing the Issue

It is crucial for financial institutions to recognize the rights of sex workers and ensure that they are not unfairly discriminated against when seeking banking services. 

The UK government recently responded to a petition with over 11,000 signatures titled “Ensure sex workers are not excluded from banking services”. This petition shed light on the difficulties that sex workers face when trying to access basic banking services. The government's response discussed mostly personal banking options (which as business customers, does not apply to the adult industry) but commented "The availability of lending products, such as mortgages or credit cards, and decisions about offering services to businesses are commercial decisions in which the Government does not intervene." essentially stating that they aren't getting involved.

As we continue to have conversations around the challenges faced by sex workers in accessing essential services, it is important to advocate for policies that promote financial inclusion and combat discrimination in the banking sector.

Why is their discrimination against the sex industry?

Some banks, like Natwest, have openly stated their reasons for excluding sex workers from their services. They argue that the adult entertainment sector poses significant risks, including gender inequality, easy access to pornography, human trafficking, forced labor, child labor, and connections to illegal activities such as prostitution, drugs, and money laundering.

By adopting narratives that reinforce negative stereotypes about sex work and human trafficking, banks perpetuate discriminatory policies. This deliberate decision to stigmatize the sex industry reflects a broader societal bias against individuals involved in this line of work.

Furthermore, by labeling the sex industry as inherently risky and immoral, banks fail to recognize the diverse experiences and realities of individuals working in this sector. This one-size-fits-all approach only serves to deepen the stigma and discrimination faced by those working in this field.

The Impact of Discrimination on Financial Stability

Due to the discrimination faced by sex workers, accessing basic banking services such as opening a bank account or obtaining a loan becomes a daunting task. This lack of financial stability can have a significant impact on their overall well-being and livelihood.

To avoid the challenges posed by traditional banks, many individuals in the sex industry have turned to alternative financial solutions such as online payment platforms and cryptocurrency. These options are now proving to have the same level of discrimination and come with their own set of risks.

Advocating for Inclusivity and Equality

Emily and Victoria emphasize the importance of advocating for inclusivity and equality in the banking sector. By raising awareness about the challenges faced by sex workers, they hope to spark conversations that lead to positive change in the financial industry.

Join us in the next episode of "Behind the Paddle" Podcast as we continue to explore important topics related to sex and society. Stay informed, stay engaged, and let's work towards a more inclusive and understanding world.

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