OnlyFans says banks are to blame for ban on sexually explicit content

OnlyFans’ founder Tim Stokely has blamed banks such as Metro Bank and JPMorgan Chase for the forthcoming ban on sexually explicit content

Joanna Taylor
Wednesday 25 August 2021 02:24
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OnlyFans’ forthcoming ban on sexually explicit content is the fault of banks such as Metro Bank and JPMorgan Chase, the online subscription service’s founder has claimed.

Tim Stokely told the Financial Times that the “increasingly unfair actions” of banks are to blame for the ban — and that he would otherwise “absolutely” support sex workers’ continued use of the service.

Onlyfans announced last week that pornographic content would be banned on the site from October, sparking backlash from the adult content creators whose use of the service is fundamental to its popularity.

Speaking to the FT, Mr Stokely, the company’s chief executive, accused the UK’s Metro Bank of disrupting the service by shutting down Onlyfans’ corporate account on short notice in 2019.

He also claimed that Bank of New York Mellon “flagged or rejected” money associated with Onlyfans and that JPMorgan Chase is “particularly aggressive in closing accounts of sex workers”.

The ban, then, was necessary to “safeguard their funds and subscriptions from increasingly unfair actions by banks and media companies”, Mr Stokely said, adding: “we had no choice”.

Initially, OnlyFans said that the move was the result of pressure from financial partners, prompting speculation that payment processors such as Visa and Mastercard were behind it.

The platfom later said in a statement addressed directly to sex workers that it was “necessary to secure banking and payment services to support you”.

Despite this, some of the content creators remained dissatisfied with the company and accused it of back-pedalling.

Questions also remain as to how OnlyFans will differentiate between sexually explicit content and non-sexual nudity, which will still be allowed.

The banks Mr Stokely accused of pushing the company into imposing the ban have been contacted for comment.

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