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- Research finds LGBTQ folks often experience bias or discrimination regarding financial services.
- A 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.
If you’re searching 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 folks.
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 getting financial services and products because of barriers or discrimination in how these services were designed. Furthermore, transgender respondents were more than twice as likely to say they’ve experienced discrimination and bias in the financial system than LGBTQ cisgender men and women.
One area where LGBTQ couple experience discrimination is in mortgage lending. According to a 2019 study published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United State of America, same-sex couples were 73.1% more likely to be denied mortgages in comparison to heterosexual couples.
The process of changing the name of your debit card or credit card to reflect your chosen name can also be time-consuming and involved. Only a few financial institutions allow you to customize debit cards or credit cards regardless of what your legal ID says.
LGBTQ-friendly banking is important because it recognizes banking challenges LGBTQ people face, and provides solutions to these dilemmas through products or services.
“It’s about making sure that any person in the community has a place to go where they know that they’re accepted and cared for and 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, Yvonne Bradshaw, a financial advisor and coach, recommends looking at the bank’s mission statement and practices.
“You want to look at who they’re supporting and what’s in their banking policy. Are they inclusive? Is that policy just extended to their workers? Or does that also go a little bit further? Are they progressively looking at helping and supporting the LGBTQ community?” advises Bradshaw.
Stanley also says you can review the corporate governance board of a financial institution and research their online presence. If a leader of a financial institution has a history of prejudice, you might consider other banking options.
Financial institutions with LGBTQ-friendly banking
A few financial institutions have products and services that acknowledge 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 City area. It also offers online-only checking and savings accounts if you don’t live in these places. Amalgamated Bank showed support for LGBTQ rights by joining amicus briefs that opposed 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 get a BMO Harris credit card, debit card, or ATM card, you are allowed to display your chosen name if it isn’t the same as your legal name.
- Citi: In 2020, Citi announced it would begin offering True Name. You may get any Citi credit card with your chosen name.
- Daylight: Daylight is a mobile banking platform that specifically serves and supports LGBTQ+ folks. Daylight lets you customize your debit card with your chosen name. If you plan to have a 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 brick-and-mortar 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 methodical research. To determine whether 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 experience. You can also review our list of institutions with LGBTQ-friendly services as a resource.
Read More: How to Find a Bank With LGBTQ-Friendly Policies and Values