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- Research finds that LGBTQ people often experience bias or discrimination regarding financial services.
- Some banks have established policies or initiatives that reflect LGBTQ needs or support LGBTQ rights.
- We have listed banks and credit unions with LGBTQ-friendly services.
While the banking industry is changing to better address customer needs, LGBTQ customers still often face systemic barriers in banking.
If you’re looking for a financial institution that more closely aligns with your values and supports LGBTQ people, here’s how to identify a bank that is truly LGBTQ-friendly.
Why is LGBTQ-friendly banking important?
Research from the National Endowment for Financial Education found that two in five LGBTQ adults felt blocked or discouraged from obtaining financial services and products due to barriers or discrimination in the way these services were designed. Additionally, transgender respondents were more than twice as likely to say they had experienced discrimination and bias in the financial system than cisgender LGBTQ men and women.
One area where LGBTQ couples experience discrimination is in home loans. According to a 2019 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, same-sex couples were 73.1% more likely to be denied mortgages compared to heterosexual couples.
The process of changing the name on your debit card or credit card to reflect your chosen name can also be time consuming and complicated. Only a few financial institutions allow you to personalize debit cards or credit cards regardless of what your legal ID says.
LGBTQ-friendly banking is important because it recognizes the banking challenges LGBTQ people face and provides solutions to these dilemmas through products or services.
“It’s about making sure that anyone in the community has a place to go where they know they are accepted, cared for, listened to and treated equally,” explains Scott Stanley, CFP and founder of Pharos Wealth.
How can you tell if a bank is truly LGBTQ-friendly?
When searching for an LGBTQ-friendly financial institution, Yvonne Bradshaw, financial advisor and coach, recommends reviewing the bank’s mission statement and practices.
“You want to see who they’re supporting and what’s in their banking policy. Are they inclusive? Does that policy only extend to their workers? Or does it go a bit further as well? Are they progressively looking to help and support the LGBTQ community? ” Bradshaw advises.
Stanley also says you can check out a financial institution’s corporate governance board and investigate its online presence. If a leader of a financial institution has a history of bias, he might consider other banking options.
Financial institutions with LGBTQ-friendly banking
Some financial institutions have products and services that recognize banking barriers and advocate for LGBTQ rights. Here’s a quick overview of some financial institutions that offer LGBTQ-friendly banking.
- Amalgamated Bank: Amalgamated Bank is a socially responsible bank with branches open in Washington, DC and the New York City area. It also offers online-only checking and savings accounts if you don’t live in these locations. Amalgamated Bank showed its support for LGBTQ rights by joining amicus briefs opposing LGBTQ+ discrimination. It also allows trans people living in New York to open bank accounts in a name of their choosing through IDNYC.
- BMO Harris: If you get a BMO Harris credit card, debit card or ATM card, you may display your chosen name if it is not the same as your legal name.
- Citi – In 2020, Citi announced that it would begin offering True Name. You can get any Citi credit card in your chosen name.
- Daylight: Daylight is a mobile banking platform that specifically serves and supports LGBTQ+ people. Daylight allows you to personalize your debit card with the name of your choice. If you plan to have gender-affirming surgery in the future, the Daylight account also has a guided goals feature, which has a virtual assistant that can help you understand more about the process.
- Republic Bank: Republic Bank is a traditional financial institution with branches in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Florida and Ohio. Republic Bank offers the True Name feature for its debit cards.
The bottom line
Identifying an LGBTQ-friendly financial institution that’s right for you may require some methodical research. To determine if a bank aligns with your values, you can check to see if it has LGBTQ+ social initiatives or offers products that address banking challenges experienced by LGBTQ people. You can also review our list of institutions with LGBTQ-friendly services as a resource.