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- Research has shown that LGBTQ people often experience bias or discrimination in financial services.
- Several banks have put in place policies or initiatives that reflect LGBTQ needs or support LGBTQ rights.
- We’ve listed banks and credit unions with LGBTQ services.
While the banking industry is shifting to better address customer needs, LGBTQ customers still often face systemic barriers to banking.
If you’re looking for a financial institution that aligns with your values and supports LGBTQ people, here’s how to identify a bank that truly supports LGBTQ people.
Why is LGBTQ-friendly banking important?
Research from National Endowment for Financial Education found that two out of five LGBTQ adults feel blocked or discouraged from accessing financial services and products because of barriers or discrimination in the way those services are designed. Moreover, transgender respondents were more than twice as likely to say they had experienced discrimination and bias in the financial system than LGBTQ cisgender men and women.
One area where LGBTQ couples experience discrimination is mortgage lending. According to a 2019 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of Americasame-sex couples were 73.1% more likely to be denied mortgages than heterosexual couples.
The process of changing the name of your debit or credit card to reflect your chosen name can also be time-consuming and complex. Only a few financial institutions allow you to customize debit or credit cards regardless of what your legal identification 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 every person in the community has a place to go where they know they’re accepted and cared for, listened to and treated equally,” explains Scott Stanley, CFP and Founder Pharos Wealth.
How can you tell if a bank is truly LGBTQ friendly?
When looking for an LGBTQ-friendly financial institution, Yvonne Bradshaw, a financial advisor and coachrecommends that you look at the bank’s mission and practice statement.
“You want to look at who they’re supporting and what’s in their bank policy. Are they inclusive? Is that policy just extended to their employees? Or does it go a little further? Are they progressive in looking at helping and supporting LGBTQ communities?” advises Bradshaw.
Stanley also says you can review a financial institution’s corporate governance committee and research their online presence. If the leader of the financial institution has a history of prejudice, you may want to consider other banking options.
Financial institutions with LGBTQ-friendly banking
Several financial institutions have products and services that recognize banking barriers and advocate for LGBTQ rights. Here’s a quick overview of a few financial institutions that offer LGBTQ-friendly banking.
- Amalgamated Bank: Amalgamated Bank is a socially responsible bank with open branches in Washington, DC, and the New York area. It also offers online-only checking and savings accounts if you don’t live in these places. Amalgamated Bank has shown support for LGBTQ rights by joining amicus briefs opposing LGBTQ+ discrimination. It also allows trans people living in New York to open bank accounts with their chosen name through IDNYC.
- BMO Harris: If you receive a BMO Harris credit card, debit card or ATM card, you are allowed to display your chosen name if it is not the same as your legal name.
- Citi: Citi announced in 2020 that it will begin offering True Name. You can get any Citi credit card with your chosen name.
- Daylight: Daylight is a mobile banking platform that specifically serves and supports LGBTQ+ people. Daylight allows you to customize your debit card with your chosen name. If you’re planning to have gender-affirming surgery in the future, the Daylight account also has a guided goal feature, which has a virtual assistant that can help you understand more about the process.
- Republic Bank: Republic Bank is a standard financial institution with branches in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Florida and Ohio. Republic Bank offers the True Name feature for its debit cards.
Identifying the LGBTQ-friendly financial institution that’s right for you can take 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 the banking challenges LGBTQ people face. You can also review our list of institutions with LGBTQ services as a resource.