- What if it spreads to other banks in other countries? - What if it includes milder forms of businesses that revolve around nudity etc. (eg. fetish wear, art prints etc.)? - What if it affected sites like this? (many would argue that much of what goes on here is pornographic).
Yes, there's a lot of what-ifs, but it's still somewhat worrying and not necessarily 100% US driven as only recently China has been having a clamp-down on sex-related material & services and to comply on an international level the banks may simply adhere to as many local laws as posible to enable free trade/transfer of money with as little agro as possible.
It has nothing to do with pornography per se, it's the way that certain aspects of the industry conduct their online business.
This has its roots in an article produced by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) in September 2011 on managing risks in third party relationships where they identified businesss which, in their words, "should be considered “high risk.” These disreputable merchants use payment processors to charge consumers for questionable or fraudulent goods and services."
They listed thirty businesses which were suspected of being responsible for disreputable services or slightly unethical trading patterns (nothing to do with nudity at all)
Some people in the States have taken this to be the thin end of a right-wing evangelical crusade against pornography but this was actually initiated by consumer complaints about being ripped off. If you look at the list, a lot of those 'high risk' areas are often involved in some form of counterfeiting and/or money laundering schemes and well known unlicensed activities (tobacco, lotteries and online gambling). Now whilst a few adult performers may be feeling they have been targetted for their choice of profession what is clear is that banks have been told to act on complaints from customers and have the right to terminate their business elationship whether corporate or indvidual. There is also a system set up of monitoring complaints about specific online
I would have thought that the ability to complain about rogue traders and to have those complaints proven actually shows consumer protection is in play and the FDIC guidance on dealing with 'high risk' areas contains a lot of recommendations that are similar to our own 2007 Money Laundering Regulations. To give the FDIC some kudos the general response to the 2007 regs in the U.K has been laughable with only the usual suspects targetted i.e motor car dealers, jewellers and carousel schemes - the latter being one area where the U.K is undoubtedly european champions.
The yanks never cease to amaze me....the land of the free, eh....and lets play god! This seems totally pathetic!! I guess they think it is a soft target compared to the drugs barons whose money and accounts I am sure they are keen to hang on to...and do they really think closing someone's account will stop them being a porn star? Others will be keen to look after their money even if it goes abroad? I just get sick of their hypocrisy. Can you imagine what it would cost to investigate every case and administrate this!
Beyond "You couldn't make it up" by a country mile....!