NATWEST has apologised after a customer was told ‘all vegans should be punched in the face’ before being turned down for a loan.
The woman called the high street bank to request money to pay for a £400 qualification in nutrition.
But the caller said the bank worker claimed vegan activists had drawn pictures of animals and written ‘friends not food’ in chalk on pavements near his home, before saying vegans should be punched — and then apparently rejecting the application.
The bank said his comments were ‘wholly inappropriate’, according to the BBC.
NatWest has since offered to pay for the nutrition course and has offered around £200 in compensation.
The caller who does not want to be identified, said the handler felt ‘vegans were forcing their beliefs on to him’, she told BBC Radio Bristol.
‘He wasn’t happy to be speaking to me at all — his tone was really unpleasant,’ she said.
‘Being vegan is a lifestyle choice, I shouldn’t be penalised for it, especially by a big organisation. It’s extremely unfair.’
A spokesperson for NatWest said: ‘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.’