OnlyFans CEO says banks forced its hand in adult content ban

Last week it was revealed that OnlyFans would no longer allow adult content on its platform despite the service being built up to the heights it occupies today by sex workers.

There have been many rumours regarding why this hardline stance was taken. Many of these rumours were fueled by a report from the BBC which alleged that OnlyFans had been more lenient than it should’ve been as regards content which violated its terms of service.

On Tuesday however, OnlyFans founder and chief executive officer Tim Stokely was interviewed by Financial Times (paywall) and he blames banks for the decision.

“The change in policy, we had no choice — the short answer is banks,” Stokely told Financial Times.

The CEO says that it pays one million creators $300 million a month and it has to use the banking sector but three banks in particular have caused issues for OnlyFans.

According to Stokely, Bank of New York Mellon has allegedly flagged and rejected every payment the company has tried to make. The Metro Bank in the UK also reportedly closed OnlyFans’ corporate account in 2019 while JP Morgan Chase was described as “particularly aggressive in closing accounts of sex workers or . . . any business that supports sex workers” by the CEO.

There has been speculation that OnlyFans had fallen foul of Mastercard’s rules, but Stokely disputed this.

“We’re already fully compliant with the new Mastercard rules, so that had no bearing on the decision,” the CEO said.

Now, while we’d love to say we understand this and that this reasoning makes sense we need to point out a few oddities. For one, why did Stokely not make this known on the OnlyFans blog? Why has OnlyFans to date only tweeted about how it’s let sex workers down once?

Yes, it’s good that Stokely spoke out, but in an interview on a pay-walled website? Why not speak to creators directly or at the very least through a blog post approved by an army of PR personnel?

While Stokely concludes that OnlyFans doesn’t want to lose its most loyal creators, it sure is doing precious little to keep them around.

Sure, three banks are causing issues for OnlyFans, but last time we checked, there were more than three banks in the world.


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