One of the largest banks in Australia says it may freeze and terminate customer accounts that engage in certain types of “unacceptable account conduct.”
National Australia Bank says a new policy launching in November is designed to protect people from harm by automatically flagging customer transactions that include a long list of banned words in the description.
The bank says the system scans for people using profane, derogatory, discriminatory and harassing language to determine whether a transaction should be blocked.
Customers will receive a message asking to change the description, and the bank will investigate instances where it believes an account is being used in a “financially abusive manner.”
The bank says it aims to identify transactions from customers who may be committing elder abuse, domestic violence, acts of bullying and other types of harassment.
“We have a dedicated team who review information on blocked transactions, issue warnings and refer customers to support services. We’re giving colleagues additional training so they can be even more supportive to our customers.
We’ve also recently introduced an acceptable electronic banking use policy to call out unlawful uses of NAB’s electronic banking channels. This includes making threatening and abusive comments to any person.
The policy gives NAB the right to terminate banking services for this kind of behavior.”
National Australia Bank’s system automatically scans each transaction description to search for a list of about 1,300 blocked words.
The bank says the move is the latest in a range of measures designed to protect customers, and it’s been actively blocking transactions that it deems abusive since late 2020.