General News

NatWest Bank remove Pride posters from branches

Besi Besemar June 26, 2014

Brighton Pride directors were shocked to find a poster they considered misleading outside a NatWest Bank in Churchill Square saying Proudly Supporting Pride in Brighton.

Nat West Bank

Paul Kemp and Dulcie Weaver, both Directors of Brighton Pride CIC went into the branch to ask exactly how NatWest Bank were supporting Brighton Pride as they knew nothing about any sponsorship arrangements.

Dulcie Weaver
Dulcie Weaver

Dulcie Weaver, said: “We went into the bank and asked to see the manager, who we were told was away for three weeks. We asked exactly what Nat West Bank was doing to support Brighton Pride as stated on the poster. The cashier said they were supporting Pride by putting the posters up. We said that wasn’t supporting the event or helping our fundraising efforts.”

The cashier said: “Surely any support is better than no support at all.”

Dulcie continued: “I started to notice larger organisations doing this type of thing last year. I visited American Apparel who had a huge Pride themed window and they refused to give me a donation of any sort for a window sticker, in fact they were really rude to me. This year it was so disappointing to see a corporate like NatWest behave in a smilar manner. These businesses could at least display a rainbow sticker all year round to support their local LGBT community, many of whom bank with them.

“Don’t get me wrong its great to see everyone get behind Brighton Pride but to suggest that they are actively doing something to help raise funds which is our remit isn’t fair and very misleading to customers who might make an active choice to bank with them because they think that they are.”

A spokesperson for NatWest Bank, said: “We displayed posters last year in select location across England and Wales and replicated them this year, particularly as staff in the RBS Rainbow Network will be participating in the London Pride parade this year.

“Our posters were displayed in good faith and intended as a local declaration of support for the principles of Brighton Pride. We did not intend for this to be misconstrued. As a result we have taken the posters down.”

James Ledward
James Ledward

James Ledward, editor of Gscene, commented: “Brighton Pride is a community interest company, which raises money for local LGBT groups and organisations. In the last two year they have raised and ploughed back £80,000 into the local community.

“Nat West must know there is no such thing as a free lunch. Would they have done a similar thing during the Olympics? I think not.

“Too many corporates masquerade their gay friendliness by ticking their mandatory diversity boxes. I don’t know how many LGBT people in Brighton and Hove bank with NatWest, but I hope they will question their bank managers as to whether they think that this behaviour is acceptable and exactly what financial support Nat West Bank give to the local LGBT voluntary sector in Brighton and Hove through any community grant giving.

“I bank with NatWest and will certainly be asking those questions of my manager. Maybe a donation is in order to show real support for the magnificent work Brighton Pride does raising money for the local LGBT/HIV community and delivering the city’s biggest annual spectacle.”