back to article Gay site says bank shut account over 'objectionable' blog

Citibank - the third largest holding bank in the US - has apologized to a gay social networking website after its founder claimed the bank had blocked his account due to "objectionable content" on the site's blog. Known as Fabulis, the site bills itself as "network that connects gay men with amazing experiences down the block …


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  1. David Simpson 1

    The world is run by more moralist religious idiots than any of us would care to believe.

    It happens more than you think, my wife was turned down for her £1000 grant from Enterprise Scotland because she shot "pornography". She was starting a photography business that shot fashion and fetish (ie No actual sex and some small amount of nudity like every other photographer in the world)

    She was told that Enterprise Scotland didn't want to be associated with "people like her"

    They did eventually cave in and she got her grant but no apology was given.

    The world is run by more moralist religious idiots than any of us would care to believe.

    1. Mad Dave

      I presume

      That you conducted an in depth study of the beliefs of every member of staff before you came to the conclusion that it's because they're "religious idiots", rather than not wanting to be seen to be funding an enterprise which many people may have a moral objection to?

    2. SirTainleyBarking

      Religious Idiots

      The only questions that should be asked are the following

      1) Is it legal ? -Yes

      2) Does it have a viable business plan? - I assume so

      3) Outside the (non returnable) grant system, are they going to get their money back with profit after an agreed period of time?

      Anything else is just confetti. And good on your missus for identifying a sector in photography that has little competition, a steady demand from people who are usually well educated with high levels of disposible income, and the possibility of doing some striking art.

      Sounds like question 2 has been answered quite well IMHO, just make sure the studio has a good central heating system

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Call it what it is.

      It's right-wing political correctness.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Right wing like Harriet Harman?

        I think you'll find just as many if not more preachy asswipes on the political left. Glenda Jackson, Harriet Harman and legions of publically funded town hall feminists.

        Must try harder.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          A Harder Try ...

          But still only loosely bound:

          Demanding that all negative commentary of homosexuality is wrong is leftist PC.

          Demanding that all positive commentary of homosexuality is wrong is rightist PC.

          Are you now slightly clearer on what "politically correct" actually signifies? Do you now understand why this is rightist PC? Do you feel like your next vote might actually count for something, now I've clued you in on something?

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Well Mr Dee try this one.

            Labour seem to be very comfortable cosying up the voters of a certain middle eastern religious persuasion. This 'Religion of Peace' clearly in writing advocates the killing of homosexuals.

            Now banning the promotion of a minority lifestyle with Public money seems to me to be rather small beer compared to encouraging wackjobs who promote state sponsored death to those practioners of said minority lifestyle.

            Now perhaps you could reconcile this for us all? I think you'll be trying MUCH harder to justify this left wing hypocrisy.

            Preachy asswipes to a man they are the left's friends. Now I think we should judge lefties on the company they keep - don't you?

            1. Anonymous Coward

              RE: Well Mr Dee try this one.

              Oh wow, you crammed so many troll turds into each sentence that addressing them all would take thousands of words. I'm kind of awestruck, to be honest.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Because I feel like out-tarding you ...

              I was educated at Winchester. My boyfriend was educated at Eton. Our lives were full of right-wing preachy asswipes until we were old enough to escape.

              > Now perhaps you could reconcile this for us all? I think you'll be trying MUCH harder to justify

              > this left wing hypocrisy.

              How is trying to include E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E hypocrisy? They might go about it in a rather ham-fisted manner, but it's you rightards with your "community of dog-eat-dog" that are the hypocrites.

              By the way. Asswipe? Try not to emulate Yoosers and People Who Know Their Left From Their Right in the same sentence.

  2. John Dougald McCallum

    Knickers (toTHEM)

    "Quote"Just last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that a - a company that sells, yes, silly underwear on the web - was denied a Citibank account due to concerns over its site content. The bank told the Journal: “While we don’t comment on our customers, we typically decline accounts associated with content that the general public may potentially find inappropriate or offensive.”"Quote"

    Now I have heard them refered to as unmentionables but as objectionables that is a new one.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fark Citibank!

    My experience with Citibank has been uniformly disgusting. I am boycotting them and any subsidiary company. I urge others to do so also.

  4. Tim Roberts 1

    @ David Simpson 1

    " The world is run by more moralist religious idiots than any of us would care to believe."

    Rarely have I read a more accurate summary.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The trouble with oh so political America

    Is that too many people take an agenda to work with them. I'm not surprised this has happened.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Free publicity

    Sounds like the account was closed because of missing documentation and someone decided to twist the story to get some free publicity out of it.

    1. LinkOfHyrule

      If you are right...

      If you are right then its probably win-win for both fabulis and Citibank. Publicity = more members sign up = more revenue generated (hopefully) = more money in the bank = Bank very happy!

      I shall check out it's this fabulis thingy when its up and running, not keen on the name though sounds and looks a bit twittery.

  7. Spanners Silver badge

    American Moralists

    The USA "moral" and political behaviour that seems so bizarre would make a lot more sense if they were not speaking (a corrupt form of) English.

    Because they speak a language that sounds like our own, we expect them to think like us. They do not. They have different values and a moral system that often looks like something from Mediterranean Europe.

    There is no crime in being different but little of their culture nowadays is related to the NorthWest European that their language should indicate.

    I would urge the USA to move forward and adopt Spanish as their main language. Once they do that, they will seem more rational. This will have the advantage here in making our Conservatives realise that this country is not a chummy big brother who wants to show us the ropes.

    1. Mephistro


      "They have different values and a moral system that often looks like something from Mediterranean Europe in the eighteenth century"

      Here, fixed that for you.

      Writing from one of those Mediterranean countries -Spain- and following lots of international press and blogs, I can tell you for sure that I see much less hate speech related to gender, sexual orientation, race or religion in this country than in most of the rest of the world. Perhaps it's just our local morons haven't learnt to write yet. :)

      Nonetheless, I wholeheartedly agree that the USA moral and political behaviour is pretty bizarre.

    2. jake Silver badge


      "The USA "moral" and political behaviour that seems so bizarre would make a lot more sense if they were not speaking (a corrupt form of) English."

      Eh? Would you like me to expect all of you Brits to have the moral & socio-political behavior exhibited by the likes of "Eastenders", "The Liver Birds", "Dad's Army", "The Goodies", "Fawlty Towers", "Absolutely Fabulous", "Only fools & Horses", "As Time Goes By", "Last of the Summer Wine", and "Are You Being Served"?

      Look unto your own before you cast aspersions ...

    3. R Callan


      I have a vague memory of some famous Englishman, who had an American mother, making the comment "Two peoples separated by a common language. If anyone should know I expect he would. Now who was he? Oh, the younger son of the Duke of Marlborough, the Honourable Right Honourable Sir Winston Churchill. 'Ad a luv'ly way wiv words, ahr Winny.

      1. frank ly

        Hey jake - TV Is A Great Educator

        I'm preparing for my holiday in the USA by watching episodes of 'The Beverley Hillbillies' and 'Happy Days'. I want to understand the socio-political mindset of the American people before I go there.

      2. rototype


        You have absolutely no sense of humor, as most of those TV PROGRAMMES you listed are considered COMEDIES, ie of a comic or humorous nature (even Eastenders at times). The content of comedy programmes does not show a reflection of the moral fibre of a society, merely something that the programme makers think we might find amusing.

        An interesting comment if the US stations decide to air them as well isn't it?

        We need a two faced icon here....

        1. jake Silver badge

          @frank ly

          Spend your money, then go home like the rest of the mindless tourists.

          Or ... Have a great vacation. I recommend sampling local micro-brews, not BMC (Bud, Miller, Coors) beers, if you have a mind to sample beers. Ask a local where (and what) to eat. Instead of attitude, try a smile & PleaseAndThankYou[tm] ... It works wonders, just like it does all over the rest of the planet..

          When you get home, look up "hyperbole". Vacations should be learning experiences :-)

        2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          @frank ly, re TV is a great educator

          Careful frank, there are parts of 'merkin-land that still think "The Dukes of Hazzard" is a documentary, see dey can’t even spell hazard korrectly

      3. jake Silver badge

        @R Callan

        I think you'll find the "separated by a common language" quote was from George Bernard Shaw. On the bright side, 'e also 'ad a luvly way w' words.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        We do know

        You do realise those are comedies/pardies of life? They are deliberately exaggerated to ensure laughs. We don't all think the Police departments in the States are run like "Columbo",'Cagney and Lacey",'NYPD Blue",'Hill Street Blues",'CSI'. We don't think all 18-30 somethings live in roof-top flats, sorry apartments, in New York!

        Finally we don't think there is a crack PI team driving around in a garish 60s VW van, consisting of a bloke, two birds, a hippy and flipping semi-intelligent dog with a sandwich/snack fetish!

      5. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


        "England and America are two countries separated by a common language" is usually attributed to George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 - 1950).

        Although I have also seen it attributed to Alistair Cooke (1908 - 2004) in his “letter from

        America” column.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      How very dare you?

      I really resent the comparison between mediterranean Europe and the USA We are the cradle of civilization They are the only country that has gone directly from barbarism to decadence (as somebody famous I can't remember now said)

      1. jake Silver badge

        @AC 04:54

        "We are the cradle of civilization"

        Yes. We are. The keyword is "we".

        We humans, that is. We're all in this together ... NO continent/country/region can claim to be "the" place that civilization was born ... All we know for certain is that in all probability every human being's ultimate Great Grandmother was probably born in East Africa around 200,000 years ago. Any other group/nationality/religion/race/creed claiming otherwise is just posturing to keep the proletariat in line.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Which still leaves the question of...

    ...what exactly was the problem then?

    If it wasn't related to the website content, then why did they suspend the account?

  9. McMoo

    Spam, spam , spam, spam....

    Let me translate the article for you:

    "A website yet to launch, has decided to generate free PR by getting a throw-away bank account closed".

    Fair play to them... big boo to El Reg for not spotting the spamvertisment.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    double standards

    They didn't mind taking billions in handouts that many of the general public found inappropriate and offensive, funny that.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Not limited to America

    This is moral policing, and while you're wondering about why a bank would do that, recall that governments the world over have called on bankers to ``out'' people doing things those governments don't like. This includes such things as despots or just people running a country in a way others don't like, but also drug lords, random criminals, and so on and so forth. That also includes, for example, the nazis and their swiss-held gold. In fact there is a contemporary world-wide blacklist (with website) that lists ``bad people'' whom bankers are urged not to offer any service to. It's all very international and pretty much lacks all judicial review to boot. That's moral judging rampant right there.

    Now, you can pick your own moral choices, and we can ridicule others' moral choices, or whatever. I say they are all moral choices and really, what business does a banker have there? Why are we forcing them to hold some arbitrary moral line other than ``we will do business with anyone who asks nicely''? Why would this go for a banker but not for, say, a barrister? Personally, now that you really cannot do without a bank whatsoever and even cash slowly but steadily refused in ever more places, I think it doesn't do to shut anyone out on any ground. It has become a basic human necessity, and we can't go dehumanise people by shutting them out, then complaining they've become inhuman. We shut the door on them. That means we must take responsibility for having done that.

    1. MadonnaC
      Black Helicopters


      is the URL of this website - it would be interesting to see who is on it, and if we can make suggestions

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... while I can not find the exact "fabulis" blog that they found "objectional" , unless its the whole site, I did check out the

    They basically have one model of underwear that they sell.

    They offer that in boxers or briefs, in different sizes.

    It only says on it "To big to fail" (which my g/f found funny).

    What I did notice however, is in their description, they say "Show your partners where you stand on all of this government spending..."

    Would this be the content that citibank found "objectionable" on the site? Something that criticizes the government?

    Since Citibank received bailout money from the government, this could be a possible reason?

    Now, as someone who works for a hosting company, deals with a lot of websites myself, and has had multiple bank accounts over the years, the only thing I can think of is possibly resulting in a bank having issues with someones account is"missing documentation" or " PCI compliance" .

    I have NEVER heard of a bank closing an account, in the case of missing documentation (which I had occur once) the account was not closed, but the site was unable to access the account for sales to go through.

    In the case of PCI compliance (which I see a lot), the bank will usually keep the account active, accounts are not closed, but the site was unable to access the account for sales to go through.

    Will be interesting to see how this plays out, now that citibank appears to be backpeddling.

    Maybe was some new "junior manager" or something, trying to make a name for himself by "protecting the bank" against objectionable material?

    I personally would like to know if it was the same person who decided in both of these cases to take action.

    1. Bruno Girin


      No, what they objected to was the hideous use of the Comic Sans font.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't be the only one

    ..who keeps reading "Fabulis" as "Failbus"?

    I'm sure it's a splendid site and all, just my friday brayne won't behave.

  14. James Woods

    seems like a conflict of interest

    They are burning through taxpayer dollars no? All us tax payers should not only be entitled to Citi accounts, we should also be board members and paid for our donations to their failing corporate pig pie.

    Welcome to the U.S.A. Have your own government provided welfare house. Your own government provided cash card. Your own automobile, you guessed it, government motors (gm).

    Make sure you pay your taxes and your bills so that the banks & politicos can skip theirs.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Or it may be that their joke is on the banks' expense. Just saying.

    But I luv them anyway.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    " The world is run by more moralist religious idiots than any of us would care to believe."

    Very true that. And maybe it's time the rest of us (eg. the truly moral folks practicing the religion known as tolerance and common sense) stop making them richer.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yet he still banks with them?

    I ordered a taxi the other day from the same firm i always use. On the last two occasions they have gone to the wrong address, mainly due to the cabbie not listening to the full street name and going to a similar street name which is shorter.

    I wont be using that firm again as the only way a consumer can realistically complain is with their feet.

    If this guy continues to bank with these muppets then he deserves to fail.

  18. John Armstrong-Millar

    Child labour's OK though

    Since when did bankers have morals?

  19. Anonymous Coward


    Usually they just impose an Unexposed Overlooked Objectionable Content Service Charge.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    " The world is run by more moralist religious idiots than any of us would care to believe."

    Intolerant Bigots! The sooner we burn at the stake those people whose moral code isn't the same as ours, the better.

    1. HollyX

      Yes ...

      ... that is usually what they say.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Citibank Rebranding

    Since they're probably awash with taxpayer money, why doesn't Citibank just rebrand itself? I suggest the name Talibank and thereby collect my multi-million dollar strategy boutique fee.

  22. mky

    Insert slogan here

    Banking is a crime against humanity.

    Most of the banks that received bailouts actually used the money overseas at higher returns than they could get by using it in the states.

    Last I read most of the bigger banks have paid back the money, or are doing so as fast as they can, so they can go back to screwing their customers in new and more deplorable ways.

    Agree with a previous post, when did bankers get morals?

    It's beer o' clock

  23. Coconino

    if you read the blog

    The owner of fabulis is himself a shareholder of Citibank. It seems to be resolved now.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money Porn

    we could have bank notes being rubbed over the bodies of curvaceous bankers, as they take other bankers with gold and diamond encrusted dildos in a frenzy of bonus and bail out fuelled lust and passion.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    free publicity

    looks like they are trying to get as much free publicity as possible.

    who cares... lets move on.


    I for one find the logo VERY rude.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    I saw this item on another email and decided to look at the site just for kicks to see what the fuss was about.

    I am not a prude but its one of the tamest sites I have seen in quite a while. Heck the Register is a bit racy compared to this site. The swear words alone make me blush at times. I cannot imagine what was objected to by CITIBANK. Also I hate to tell CITIBANK that *GASP* they have employees that are gay. If that offends CITIBANK then they are a worse place to work for than I had heard of before. Heck a major new magazine in NY will not have any gay employee's in managerial or above position. Shhhs do not tell the city or the state of NY they might be booted out of NYC. Heck their IT division in Florida has been known to sack their people because they are gay.

    Remind me to make sure none of my business goes to citibank or for that matter the news magazine.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Typical puritanical American bullshit

    This is so typical of the puritanical American attitudes that are prevalent today. It seems to me like they are bullshitting their way out of it. What a bunch of fucking pricks.

  28. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    I suppose I can forget setting up

    One point - wasn't Spain moralistic as hell under Franco, so a lot more recently than the 18th century? Not counting the torturing and murdering, that is, which some people today consider immoral.

  29. howard bowen 1

    and yet Merica is home to a thriving adult video and

    associated products industry. Along with the 'moral majority'.

    I think you could best describe it as people are complicated, shades of grey, there seem to be few absolutes in life.

    Cept perhaps Jenna Jameson who goes like an absolute......

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Bankers describing others as lacking in morals is really rich, as indeed are they.

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