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Major bank Natwest has apologized after one of its workers told a customer that ‘all vegans should be punched in the face’.

According to the BBC, the customer – who has asked not to be named – contacted the bank applying for a £400 loan to pay for a nutrition course. When the worker realized she was vegan, he had the outburst.

According to the customer, he felt ‘vegans were forcing their beliefs on to him’ and he was upset about seeing the message ‘friends not food’ chalked on a pavement near him’.

“He wasn’t happy to be speaking to me at all, his tone was really unpleasant,” she told the BBC. “Being vegan is a lifestyle choice, I shouldn’t be penalized for it, especially by a big organization. It’s extremely unfair.”

‘Extremely sorry’

“We are extremely sorry for the way our customer was treated by a member of our staff and apologize for any distress and upset that this behavior caused,” Natwest said in a statement.

“These comments were wholly inappropriate and we have commenced disciplinary proceedings.

“We have also provided feedback to the relevant sections of the bank to ensure that lessons are learned so that a situation like this never happens again.”

The loan application was denied, but Natwest has offered to pay for the course and give the customer just under £200 in compensation.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.