OnlyFans Founder Says Banks Are to Blame for Pornography Ban: 'We Had No Choice'
Days after OnlyFans announced its controversial decision to ban sexually explicit conduct from its site, founder Tim Stokely said the blame lands on banks.
In an interview with Financial Times, Stokely said banks have refused to work with the company due to "reputational risk," alluding to the many OnlyFans users who sell explicit content on the subscription-based platform.
"The change in policy, we had no choice — the short answer is banks," Stokely, the company's CEO, said.
OnlyFans has frequently run into issues due to financial institutions "flagging and rejecting" transactions, which ultimately led to their decision to move forward without X-rated content, he explained.
"This decision was made to safeguard [our users'] funds and subscriptions from increasingly unfair actions by banks and media companies — we obviously do not want to lose our most loyal creators," Stokely told the Financial Times.
The policy change will go into effect on Oct. 1, and will "ensure the long-term sustainability" of the platform, OnlyFans said in a previous statement to PEOPLE. They also confirmed nudity would still be allowed, as long as the content did not violate its Acceptable Use Policy.
Stokely said OnlyFans, based in the United Kingdom, pays its users over $300 million a month, and "making sure that these funds get to creators involves using the banking sector," he told the Financial Times.
However, the platform would welcome back X-rated content if banks change their attitudes toward sex work, Stokely said.
The reaction to the company's decision was heavily scrutinized by its creators and those on social media, with many pointing out that OnlyFans gained its influence because of its sexually explicit content.
"We made it a brand that people know, and to go back on the people who built it, it's pretty awful," model and OnlyFans user Courtney Tillia told PEOPLE of the change.
"I fell in love with being liberated and being able to share myself in different ways. I started this for my own expression," she added. "I had no idea there was so much money to be made in it as there is."