HSBC to Drop Gay Quiz on Mortgage Applications

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A HSBC branch in Porthmadog, North Wales, says it will no longer ask gay couples to take HIV tests when applying for a mortgage.

The bank says that it will make the policy change immediately after the gay rights group Stonewall highlighted the bank as part of its campaign aims to stamp out discrimination in the provision of goods and services, something currently not covered in legislation.

One of the bank’s customers told the BBC of the process he went through to gain a mortgage.

“One of the questions was: ‘Are you a part of, or have you ever been part of the following groups – bisexual, homosexual or an intravenous drug user?’

I felt dirty and so did my partner, we felt incredibly dirty as if we’d done something wrong.

We, of course, said we were gay and simply on that, it said on the computer screen we would be offered life cover on the proviso we take the HIV test.

It was purely on the grounds that we were gay, basically discrimination against us.”