CEO OnlyFans: Banks threatened not to process payments to account holders

OnlyFans CEO and founder Tim Stokely says banks increasingly threatened to stop processing payments to people who posted videos and images on the platform. As a result, OnlyFans would no longer be able to pay these account holders.

Stokely told the Financial Times that the banks feared reputational damage. That is why the banks were less and less eager to cooperate with OnlyFans. Stokely also mentions two banks, the Bank of New York Mellon and Metro Bank, that actually blocked payment transactions and bank accounts. OnlyFans had an account with Metro Bank and used BNY Mellon as an intermediate bank to process transactions between OnlyFans’ bank and the banks of account holders.

According to Stokely, the attitude of banks was also the reason for adjusting the policy on sexually explicit material. As of December, only nude images are allowed on the platform and sexual acts or suggestions thereof are no longer allowed. To ensure compliance with the new policy, an additional 200 moderators will be hired on top of the current 1,000.

When adjusting this policy, OnlyFans already indicated that banking partners and payment providers would exert more pressure, something the platform is now providing more details about. Stokely says the platform pays out $300 million a month to one million account holders. In the interview he does not indicate which banks are now involved with OnlyFans, because he says he wants to improve the relationship with these parties.

Furthermore, Stokely says his platform has been “treated unfairly” in the media when it comes to “incidents of illegal content”. The BBC, among others, wrote that OnlyFans would have told employees to be less strict with ‘successful’ accounts. Stokely says these articles should also have stated that other social media outlets that don’t engage in porn also struggle with illegal material.

Finally, Stokely also discusses rumors that have surfaced around the policy change of OnlyFans. According to these rumors, the largest shareholder of the platform Leonid Radvinsky would like to sell his shares and look for an investor for that, something that would not succeed because of the image of OnlyFans. Rumors have it that OnlyFans’ policy was changed to attract more investors. The OnlyFans CEO argues that these rumors are false and that he would “welcome” sexually explicit material again if bank partners changed their mind.

Update, 3:38 PM: OnlyFans reports now on Twitter enough ‘guarantees’ not to have to implement the changed policy.