Kiwibank backtracks on brothel ban

NZ currency
Judgy old Kiwibank has rethought its stance on who will be allowed to use its banking services after a bit of backlash over the responsible banking policy it published this week.

The policy excludes a bunch of undesirables that cause harm to the world: drug dealers,  loan sharks, and businesses involved with military-grade weapons, to name just a few.

And brothels and strip clubs. You know: those totally legal, tax-paying businesses. Kiwibank initially had  blacklisted them, eliciting an understandably angry response from sex workers.

After a bit of pushback and a wee chat with the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective the day after the policy was published, Kiwibank has now recategorised the adult entertainment industry as a “sensitive sector”. 

READ: Kiwibank backs down from blacklisting brothels

This means they want customers with businesses in those sectors to “produce evidence of their compliance with and performance of harm minimisation practice”. And that means the entire adult entertainment industry “including strip clubs, brothels and the filming, production and publishing of pornographic material”.

How does one prove that? How do they judge? One person’s ick factor might be another person’s favourite kink.

Is it because sex workers have the potential to be harmed by their employers? I know there is potential for them to be treated badly by those who employ them, and I understand the peril of human trafficking.. But we have had many cases of foreign workers being used and abused while employed as farm workers, fruit pickers and liquor store workers. Will Kiwibank add those businesses to the “sensitive sector” list?

Maybe it’s the concern that the adult entertainment industry causes harm to consumers? In which case, I await their announcement of similar conditions for the manufacturers of Pepsi and pies.

But let’s be honest, it all comes down to some uptight, pearl-clutching twat deciding that sex work is sleazy. How much do you want to bet their Google search history would make your toes curl? People like that are usually the ones with the weirdest kinks.


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