BRITAIN’s most tattooed man has claimed he is being discriminated against by his bank – but not because of his appearance.
The 43-year-old, who has more than 90 per cent of his body covered in colorful ink designs, says HSBC will not let him open a bank account because of his name.
3A man named King Of Inkland King Body Art The Extreme Ink-ite has been denied a bank account because of his nameCredit: Birmingham Mail3King of Inkland Matthew Whelan with his tattoo of the Jeremy Kyle show.Credit: BPM Media3The bank have a problem with how his name is listed on his IDsThe Birmingham man changed his name from Matthew Whelan to King Of Inkland King Body Art The Extreme Ink-ite in 2008.
But despite it being his legal name for well over a decade – he claims the bank will not allow him to switch providers to be with them.
He told The Sun: “I’ve had a few issues along the way because it’s quite unique, quite whacky but it’s my legal name.
“I am trying to switch to HSBC from TSB and they’ve rejected me. They are discriminating against me because of my identity.
“I’ve got a bank – I am just unsatisfied with them. Anyone else if they are unsatisfied with their bank’s service they can easily switch.
“Everyone should be able to switch so why can’t I? I just want to be treated as everyone else is and not be discriminated against.”
The tattoo addict, who goes by Body Art for short, claims the bank has rejected him because the name on his bills does not match his passport.
In 2013, he was refused a passport with officials claiming his unusual name doesn’t fit their policies.
But as he had changed it by deed poll, he successfully challenged the Government and got a passport in 2014.
He explained: “I had to compromise – the photo part of my passport shows my name as Bart Tei-i,
“But the page above reads: ‘The holder is also known as King Of Inkland King Body Art The Extreme Ink-ite’.
“Meanwhile on lots of my bills, it says different things. Some say Bart Tei-i, some say King Of Inkland.
“This is obviously because my name is very long and they have to fit it into their systems. But why does this mean I can’t switch banks?
“All I am trying to do is switch so it’s not like I am new to this country and am starting from the beginning.
“I’ve got the government documentation, I’ve got bills in my name, I’ve got a mortgage with Halifax with my name on the statements so it should be no problem.
“They are discriminating against me because of my identity.”
Body Art says he changed his name because he felt his identity had changed.
He became fascinated by body art when he was nine years old and had his first inking when he was 16.
The ink fan has even dyed his eyes black and had his nipples removed to allow for a smoother canvas.
He explained: “I changed my name about 2008. I felt my identity was very important. I relinquished my birth name and took up my new legal name.
“It did upset my parents but they’ve come around to it now – as well as my lifestyle and appearance.
“I felt like my identity had changed and I thought ‘I’m covered in body art, body art is my life, my lifestyle.
“The king part might sound a bit egotistical but it’s a lifestyle. Ink-ite is kind of my way of thinking.
“It’s like I’m being art. I am living a life of my art, my own collection on my body.”
A spokesperson for HSBC told The Sun they treat all their customers fairly.
They added: “Our branch team has been in touch with Mr. King Of Inkland King Body Art The Extreme Ink-ite to assist him further with opening an account.”
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk