A sex worker has called for a change in the law after initially being denied a Covid Bounce Back Loan because of her occupation.
Charlotte Edwards, from Yorkshire, applied via Santander for the Bounce Back loan which was rejected despite her being unable to work.
Charlotte, 30, was left without the loan due to the "nature" of her job until a group of MPs intervened, the BBC reports.
Charlotte has worked as a self-employed escort for five years but has been left with zero income due to lockdown restrictions.
She was unable to work due to "travel restrictions and safety".
She was granted a mortgage break but was unable to gain any other Government support and had to rely on Universal Credit.
She told the BBC: "It came to light that Santander don't support sex workers and so my application was declined because of my occupation."
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme was designed to help small businesses with loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 during lockdown.
After being denied a loan, Charlotte contacted the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking for support who intervened – and she was given the interest and fee-free loan.
She is now trying to have the Equality Act of 2010 amended so there can be no discrimination on the grounds of occupation.
In a statement, Santander told the BBC: "Our sensitive sectors policy currently states that we will not offer banking services to businesses operating in a number of different sectors, including the adult entertainment industry.
"The section of the policy is designed to protect some of the most vulnerable citizens from risk of abuse, including human trafficking.
"Departures from the policy are assessed on a case-by-case basis and can be approved when the bank is comfortable that such a departure would not pose harm to the prospective customer."
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