One of Australia's big four banks has confirmed it's moved to stop internet banking transfers from going ahead if a word or phrase from a list of terms "that may be considered abusive" is used.
National Australia Bank (NAB) said it had put the policy in place amid internet banking transfer descriptions "increasingly" being used to commit forms of abuse, "including domestic and family violence".
A spokesperson for NAB said it was continuing to "refine" the policy and "consider feedback" to ensure there were "no unintended consequences" of the actions it was taking to help prevent domestic violence.
The Daily Liberal questioned the company after NSW Central West woman Georgina Coon told of her family name appearing on a list of offensive words and language implemented by banking industry members.
Ms Coon, of Dubbo, reported the experience in a public post to social media - shared 6200 times - in which she also raised concerns about how her family's last name would be viewed after dairy giant Saputo Australia changed the name of its long-established cheese brand from Coon to Cheers.
The name had come from pioneering US dairy processor Edward Coon.
Coon is also a racial slur originating from North America.
Ms Coon said in November the banking of the family business, fruit and vegetable shop Mick and Paul's, had been suddenly disrupted.
"We were unable to make transfers, receive pays or use the term Coon in any reference or remittance descriptions," she said.
Ms Coon said while she had "managed to resolve this problem through the proper channels", she wondered where the name issue would end.
The Daily Liberal asked NAB why it had put a policy in place and without consultation with customers and would it apologise to affected clients.
The spokesperson for NAB said there had been recent policy changes, prompted by an effort to curb abuse.
"We have increasingly seen internet banking transfer descriptions being used to commit forms of abuse, including domestic and family violence," the spokesperson said.
"Unlike social media channels, receivers cannot block descriptions in internet banking that contain explicit, abusive or threatening language.
"We have a role to play in tackling domestic and family violence and are committed to taking action to help our customers and colleagues stay safe.
"We've worked with the wider banking industry to agree on a list of words and phrases that may be considered abusive.
"We've also recently made a change in internet banking to prevent a transfer going ahead if one of these words or phrases is typed into an available text field.
"We continue to refine our policy and consider feedback from community partners, customers and colleagues to ensure there are no unintended consequences of the actions we are taking to help prevent domestic and family violence."