A transgender woman was humiliated after the bank froze her account when the phone banking system identified her voice as a man’s.
Sophia Reis, 47, from Carlton, Nottinghamshire, said that she was left ‘humiliated and embarrassed’ and is now in a battle with the bank to ensure that other transgender people will not be treated the same. According to Ms. Reis, she informed Santander in November last year that she would no longer be named Sergio on the account.
Apparently, the bank changed her details, and they registered her new identity, but she went through a traumatic ordeal last week, when she had an encounter with Santander’s phone banking staff.
Ms. Reis did not pass the security check, and she was not allowed to transfer £72 to her friend on her debit card. The bank froze her account the next day, and she realized that when she couldn’t pay for her items at Tesco.
“The embarrassment and humiliation I felt was unbelievable.I went into the bank in Clumber Street and said ‘you have got all my documentation and I changed my name on November 11.’
They said ‘my voice did not match my profile because it sounded like a man on the phone and not a woman.’
I was crying my eyes out and I am not that type of person at all. I am a very courteous person and I am outgoing but to feel that way when all I asked was for my money to be transferred…I feel mistreated.” – she said.
Despite informing the phone banking staff that she was a transgender woman, they did not pay attention. Her goal now is to ensure that other transgender people will not go through the same ordeal. She adds that she works as a woman, she identifies as a woman and she looks as a woman, but this was the first time in her life that she felt embarrassed for who she was.