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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 compliant services.
While the banking sector is shifting to better meet customer needs, LGBTQ clients still often face systemic barriers in the banking sector.
If you are looking for a financial institution that is more in line 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 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 report experiencing discrimination and prejudice in the financial system than LGBTQ cisgender men and women.
One area where LGBTQ couples face discrimination is in mortgage lending. According to a 2019 study published in Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, same-sex couples were 73.1 percent more likely to be denied their mortgage than heterosexual couples.
The process of changing your debit or credit card name to reflect your chosen name can also be time-consuming and involved. Only a few financial institutions allow you to customize debit or credit cards regardless of what your legal ID says.
LGBTQ-friendly banking is important because it recognizes the banking challenges that 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, cared for, listened to and treated equally,” explains Scott Stanley, CFP and founder of Pharos Wealth.
How can you identify if a bank is truly LGBTQ-friendly?
When you’re looking for an LGBTQ-friendly financial institution, financial advisor and coach Yvonne Bradshaw recommends looking at the bank’s mission statement and practices.
“You want to look at who they are supporting and what is in their banking policy. Are they inclusive? Has that policy just been extended to their workers? Or does this even go a little further? Are they progressively trying to help and support the LGBTQ community? ” Bradshaw advises.
Stanley also says you can review a financial institution’s corporate board and research their presence online. If a financial institution leader has a history of bias, you may want to consider other banking options.
Financial institutions with LGBTQ-friendly banking services
Some financial institutions have products and services that recognize banking barriers and uphold LGBTQ rights. Here is a quick overview of some financial institutions that offer LGBTQ compliant banking services.
- Amalgamated Bank: Amalgamated Bank is a socially responsible bank with branches open in Washington, DC and the New York City area. It also offers checking accounts and online-only savings accounts if you don’t live in these places. Amalgamated Bank showed 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 via IDNYC.
- BMO Harris: If you receive a BMO Harris credit, debit or ATM card, you can show your chosen name if it is not the same as your legal name.
- Citi: In 2020, Citi announced it would 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 personalize your debit card with the name of your choice. If you plan to undergo such affirmation surgery in the future, the Daylight account also has a goal-driven feature, which has a virtual assistant who can help you understand more about the process.
- Republic Bank: Republic Bank is a physical 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 a suitable LGBTQ financial institution for you may require methodical research. To determine if a bank is in line with your values, you can check if it has LGBTQ + social initiatives or if it offers products that address the banking challenges faced by LGBTQ people. You can also consult our list of institutions with LGBTQ compatible services as a resource.