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- Research shows that LGBTQ people often face bias or discrimination in financial services.
- Few banks have set policies or initiatives that reflect LGBTQ needs or support LGBTQ rights.
- We’ve listed banks and credit unions with LGBTQ-friendly services
While the banking sector 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 more closely 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 It found that two in five LGBTQ adults felt hindered or discouraged from accessing financial services and products because of barriers or discrimination in how these services were designed. Additionally, transgender respondents are more than twice as likely to report experiencing discrimination and bias in the financial system than LGBTQ cisgender men and women.
One area where LGBTQ couples face discrimination is mortgage lending. According to a study published in 2019 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of AmericaSame-sex couples were 73.1% more likely to be denied a mortgage than heterosexual couples.
The process of changing your debit card or credit card name to reflect your chosen name can also be time-consuming and involved. Only some financial institutions allow you to customize a debit card or credit card regardless of what your legal ID says.
LGBTQ-friendly banking is important because it recognizes the banking challenges faced by LGBTQ people 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’re accepted and cared for and heard 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, Yvonne Bradshaw is one Financial Advisor and CoachRecommends viewing 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 this policy extend only to their employees? Or does it go a little further? Are they gradually looking to help and support the LGBTQ community? ?” Bradshaw suggested.
Stanley also says you can review a financial institution’s corporate governance board and research their online presence. If a leader at a financial institution has a history of prejudice, you may want to 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 the Washington, DC and New York City areas. If you don’t live in these places, it only offers online checking and savings accounts 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 in their chosen names through IDNYC.
- BMO Harris: If you receive a BMO Harris credit card, debit card, or ATM card, you are allowed to display the name you choose if it is not the same as your legal name.
- Citi: In 2020, Citi announced that it would begin giving real names. 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 the name of your choice. If you’re planning a gender-affirming surgery in the future, the Daylight account also has a guided goals feature, with a virtual assistant that can help you understand more about the process.
- Republic Bank: Republic Bank is a brick-and-mortar financial institution with branches in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Florida and Ohio. Republic Bank offers True Name feature for its debit cards
Identifying an LGBTQ-friendly financial institution that is right for you may require systematic research. To determine if a bank aligns with your values, you can look to see if it has LGBTQ+ social initiatives or offers products that address the banking challenges LGBTQ people experience. You can review our list of organizations with LGBTQ-friendly services as a resource.