The Netherlands-based internet banking service Bunq, which dubs itself the “bank of the Free,” has terminated the account of the Voorzij Foundation, a feminist organization, in response to complaints from transgender rights activists.
“The bank account of Voorzij has been closed by @bunq with the explanation that ‘your activities don’t match our company policy’,” Voorzij wrote on Twitter. “Women standing up for their rights in anno 2021 not compatible with the policies of a bank.”
Like Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and other gender-critical women, Voorzij has come under fire from transgender rights activists, who claim that the organization is run by “TERFs” or “Transgender Exclusionary Radical Feminists” for the radical view that biology is not a social construct.
“The feminist organization was founded to defend the interests of women,” wrote the foundation in a statement on its official website. “Men who consider themselves trans women are not covered by this advocacy.”
“The power of the trans lobby apparently extends so far that the bank is closing an account of a group of women who stand up for their rights without mercy,” said Caroline Franssen, chairwoman of the Voorzij Foundation.
“This will damage the reliability of the entire Dutch banking system if no action is taken here,” the organization said. “Gender ideology is, in Voorzij's opinion, a belief or a feeling. The bank apparently believes that people can change their gender and that their perceived gender is more important than the gender of their bodies. The bank obviously wants to change the definition of feminism. Feminism stands up for women, not men. Stichting Voorzij respects the democratic right to expression of all, and finds it baffling and unacceptable that Bunq bank has taken this action.”
“For us as a foundation, a bank account is crucial,” the organization explained. “After all, we need money to, for example, maintain our website and organize activities. In this way we are not only silenced, but our actual functioning is made impossible. Until 1956, women were not allowed to have their own bank account. In 2021 they will lose their bill because they stand up for the interests of women.”
“Soon any organization or person with which the bank does not agree from a political, ideological or popular point of view can lose a bank account,” said Franssen.
The organization says that it will open a new bank account elsewhere following the termination.
“We are strong advocates of human rights and are committed to equal treatment, equal opportunities and equal rights for all people. We believe in the power of diversity and do not tolerate any discrimination,” wrote Bunq in a statement on Twitter.
“Your organisation does not stand behind these values, which is in contrast with what bunq is and represents. In light of this and due to complaints we’ve received concerning your activities, we’ve reserved our right to terminate the contractual agreement with you,” Bunq continued in its statement. “We’ll be happy to support feminist organisations, but do not tolerate discrimination against trans women.”