Bank Asks Man To Stop Sending Payments Named 'Jihad' And 'ISIS' To Friends

A bank in the U.K. has told one of its customers to carefully consider what messages to send to friends after making payments to them marked "Jihad training" and "ISIS training."

The post was shared on Reddit's 39 million-strong r/funny forum by user Joe, who goes by u/Jahoe, on Tuesday with the caption "My bank told me off."

In the message, a Starling Bank employee told Joe to reconsider using certain words associated with Islamist-inspired terrorism when making payments to his friends.

The message read: "Hi Joe, you have recently marked payments, 'Taliban training,' 'Jihad fee' and 'ISIS training.' While we appreciate that you are probably having a joke with your friends, we are obliged to investigate such matters which is time-consuming.

"Be assured your friend's banks will be doing the same. This is a polite request to ask you to cease marking payments in this manner. Thanks for your cooperation."

Since being uploaded on Tuesday, February 15, the post has been voted on more than 165,000 times with 75 percent of those being coveted upvotes.

The post generated a wider discussion on Reddit about the risk of using words associated with Islamist terrorism, with the post attracting some 7,800 comments online.

One Reddit user said: "It's all fun and games until one day you want to go on vacation and find out you can't get on any plane. That or get singled out for extra security screenings at airports."

Another added: "I do this. I draw ridiculous bull**** because nobody cares or checks. The U.S. should move to PINs for the credit cards like the rest of the world."

A third person commented: "I've only seen parts of America so far. I hope to see the rest of America before I die."

Starling Bank told Newsweek the bank makes security checks on any suspicious activity that it finds.

Alexandra Frean, Starling Bank's chief corporate affairs officer, told Newsweek: "Like all banks, we're obliged to monitor suspicious activity and to take action. It's a very serious responsibility. In this case, we didn't suspect the customer had done anything wrong, we were just informing them in a friendly way that their actions were unhelpful."

"The customer's post on Reddit subsequently shared on other social media platforms, and stimulated a debate with lots of interesting strands that I hope people will find insightful."

In the U.S., banks are required to report numerous suspicious activities to authorities, including money laundering and terrorism.

According to the Office of the Comptroller of Currency website: "U.S. banks play a key role in combating the financing of terrorism by identifying and reporting potentially suspicious activity as required under the BSA. A number of resources are available to assist you in this effort."

In 2018, revealed a Federal Reserve report, the number of core non-cash payments, comprising debit card, credit card, ACH, and check payments, reached 174.2 billion, an increase of 30.6 billion from 2015. The value of these payments totaled $97 trillion in 2018.

stock bank image and ISIS flag
Stock bank image and ISIS flag. The bank warned the customer not to use the phrases associated with Islamist-inspired terrorism, while appreciating that actions were not terrorism-related, just unhelpful. Getty