A NatWest customer was told “all vegans should be punched in the face” when she called to apply for a bank loan.
Vegans are often unfairly given the reputation of pushing their beliefs on others and being aggressive with their viewpoints, but more often than not find themselves on the receiving end of abuse from non-vegans.
However, one vegan in Bristol was shocked to be told “all vegans should be punched” by a NatWest bank worker when she applied for a loan to pay for a £400 vegan nutrition diploma.
The customer’s application was initially rejected but after listening to a recording of the call after being alerted to the abusive comments made, NatWest has since offered to pay for the course and offered the woman compensation of just under £200.
According to the customer, the comment that “all vegans should be punched in the face” was made after telling the employee she was a vegan. The employee in question told the customer that he made the comment because he felt “vegans were forcing their beliefs on to him” after vegan activists drew pictures of animals and wrote messages such as “friends not food” in chalk on pavements near where he lived
Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol, the customer said: “He wasn’t happy to be speaking to me at all, his tone was really unpleasant. Being vegan is a lifestyle choice, I shouldn’t be penalised for it, especially by a big organisation. It’s extremely unfair.”
NatWest has released a statement on the matter saying: “We are extremely sorry for the way our customer was treated by a member of our staff and apologise for any distress and upset that this behaviour caused.
“These comments were wholly inappropriate and we have commenced disciplinary proceedings.
“We have also provided feedback to the relevant sections of the bank to ensure that lessons are learnt so that a situation like this never happens again.”