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- Research reveals that LGBTQ people often face prejudice or discrimination regarding financial services.
- A few banks have policies or initiatives in place that reflect LGBTQ needs or support LGBTQ rights.
- We’ve listed banks and credit unions that offer LGBTQ-friendly services.
As the banking industry evolves to better meet customer needs, LGBTQ customers still often face systemic barriers in the banking industry.
If you’re looking for a financial institution that’s 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?
A study by 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 design of those services. Additionally, transgender respondents were more than twice as likely to say they experienced discrimination and prejudice in the financial system compared to cisgender LGBTQ men and women.
One area where LGBTQ couples face discrimination is in mortgages. 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 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 complicated. Only a few financial institutions allow you to personalize debit or credit cards, no matter 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 everyone in the community has a place to go where they know they’re accepted, cared for, listened to and treated equally,” says Scott Stanley, CFP and Founder of Pharos wealth.
How do you know if a bank is truly LGBTQ-friendly?
When looking for an LGBTQ-friendly financial institution, Yvonne Bradshaw, financial advisor and coach, recommends consulting the bank’s mission statement and practices.
“You want to see who they support and what is in their banking policy. Are they inclusive? Is this policy simply extended to their workers? Or does it also go a little further? LGBTQ community?” advises Bradshaw.
Stanley also says you can examine a financial institution’s corporate governance board and research their online presence. If the leader of a financial institution has a history of bias, you might consider other banking options.
Financial institutions offering LGBTQ-friendly banking services
A few financial institutions have products and services that recognize banking barriers and champion LGBTQ rights. Here is a brief overview of a few financial institutions that offer LGBTQ-friendly banking services.
- Amalgamated Bank: Amalgamated Bank is a socially responsible bank with branches open in Washington, DC and the New York area. It also offers online-only checking and savings accounts if you don’t live in those locations. Amalgamated Bank has shown its support for LGBTQ rights by joining amicus briefs that oppose LGBTQ+ discrimination. It also allows trans people living in New York to open bank accounts with the name of their choice through IDNYC.
- BMO Harris: If you get a BMO Harris credit card, debit card or ATM card, you are allowed to display the name you have chosen 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 with the name of your choice.
- 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 are planning to have gender affirmation surgery in the future, the Daylight account also has a guided goal feature, which has a virtual assistant that can help you better understand 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 an LGBTQ-friendly financial institution that’s right for you may take some methodical research. To determine if a bank aligns with your values, you can check if they have LGBTQ+ social initiatives or offer products that address the banking challenges faced by LGBTQ people. You can also view our list of institutions offering LGBTQ-friendly services as a resource.