Barclays mobile banking app received a number of negative reviews after introducing a rainbow logo for Pride.
Barclays recently updated the logo on their mobile banking app to support the LGBT+ community during Pride month — but some of their customers aren’t happy about it.
The logo was changed as part of the bank’s ‘Spectrum’ initiative to “support customers, clients and colleagues across the broad spectrum of diversity of sexuality and gender identity.”
Dozens of disgruntled customers took to the app’s reviews page to air their anger at the temporary rainbow logo, giving one star ratings in protest.
So @Barclays recently updated their mobile app logo to support #pride—here’s some of the reviews left on the app after this change happened pic.twitter.com/fMUoq1ajer
— aleksandar (@baffledbatista) June 27, 2019
One user identified as Nav56 wrote: “You people cannot put LGBT flag in my mobile background without my permission!! It’s my personal choice as well as against my believes [sic]. You cannot force your believes on me!!!”
User Luc Jag declared he had to “uninstall and move bank” because of the rainbow logo, insisting: “I am not against gays, just the flag. It is against Christians.”
The homophobic comments ranged from some who demanded the option to change the logo, saying: “I want the option to have it or not as my right” to others who questioned: “What is the link between banking and 2 men who like to play with each other’s arses?”
One user who declared himself “A PROUD SUPPORTER OF THE NATURAL FAMILY” was so outraged he said he would be closing his account after 11 years of being a customer.
Other users moved to Twitter, seeking a direct response from the bank over their LGBT-inclusive initiative.
@Barclays Just called your customer services as I noticed my app icon had mysteriously changed colour.
Was told this is because Barclays are choosing to supporting LGBT activities this week, which is great. How about extending that choice to your customers? pic.twitter.com/VhN5zoOUXr
— Andrew Robinson (@arobinson0) June 27, 2019
Rather than immediately defending their policy, as one might expect from a bank which claims to “celebrate the diversity of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community,” Barclays shocked users by initially apologising to those complaining.
In response to one tweet which has since been deleted, a member of Barclays UK Help staff apologised, said they “appreciated” their concerns and would take their feedback on board.
I can completely appreciate that Sam. We’re sorry if this has caused you any upset, we’ll take your feedback on board. Jason
— Barclays UK Help (@BarclaysUKHelp) June 27, 2019
In another tweet, Barclays reassured the complainant that they would be changing the logo back to its original colours soon.
The responses were strongly criticised by many on Twitter, who said it was “pandering to discrimination” and proved that the bank showed no sincerity in embracing the LGBT+ cause.
“The whole POINT of [Pride] is to not apologise for our existence.”
— Twitter user @irishwol
@ethanharv wrote: “Apologising is literally the most counterproductive thing you could do – so thanks for being complicit!”
@irishwol agreed: “Jason lovie. I know your brief is to keep everyone happy but if Barclays makes you apologise for flying the rainbow then they’ve no business flying it in the first place. The whole POINT of [Pride] is to not apologise for our existence.”
While @Susan_Larson_TM tweeted: “WTF Barclay’s this kowtowing to homophobia. If he doesn’t wanna use the app tell him to come in, in person. Or send his business elsewhere. Good luck finding one that isn’t taking part in Pride though.”
On realising that the apologies were not well received by the LGBT+ community, Barclays later changed its responses on Twitter to align with their LGBT-supportive message.
We’ve changed our logo to celebrate all of the Pride events that we’re supporting. We believe people should be free to be who they are and love who they love. While homophobia, biphobia and transphobia still exists in the UK, we’ll continue to actively support Pride. Jay
— Barclays UK Help (@BarclaysUKHelp) June 28, 2019
Brands cash in on Pride
Barclays is only the latest brand to be called out for their use of the rainbow flag during Pride month.
The Years & Years singer Olly Alexander made news last week when he shamed brands for capitalising on Pride month without making any meaningful contribution.
He said: “Re-doing your logo in a rainbow and ‘donating a portion of proceeds’ is not enough.”
Donald Trump provided perhaps the strangest addition to the rainbow capitalist offering with his “LGBTQ for Trump” T-shirt.
The US President is selling the souvenir for $24, despite his ignoring Pride month repeatedly. Since taking office, his administration has attacked LGBT+ rights more than 100 times, according to GLAAD.