Welcome to America, where sexual orientation now apparently affects your financial status.
On Monday, Michigan became the first state to approve a charter to create a credit union for LGBT customers. It is set to begin early next year.
Superbia Credit Union is set to offer services for the LGBT community that they claim is outside of the norm when it comes to traditional banks. For example, Superbia Services Inc. founder Myles Meyers said they will be offering loans for transgender people who are in the process of transitioning.
"As the world’s only LGBTQ profit-for-purpose provider, Superbia is here to force the needed systemic change in banking, insurance and healthcare and install a new paradigm in funding LGBTQ social equality," Meyers wrote on LinkedIn.
“I can walk into a bank or credit union and apply for a loan or credit card or savings accounts and frankly, no problem,” he added, “If I walked in to the same institution with my husband, we can come across different responses and welcome. And this is where it all starts to change for the community.”
But it’s still legal to discriminate against LGBT consumers in most U.S. states, and research shows that gay couples face hurdles in banking regardless of geography. Same-sex couples are less likely to be approved for a loan, for example, and when they are, they pay more for the financing.
There’s a financial incentive to target LGBT customers more directly when offering banking services. The combined buying power of the U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adult population was estimated at $987 billion in a 2017 projection by Witeck Communications.
With the charter in place, Superbia will form a board and begin hiring executives. In addition to the credit union, Superbia Services plans to expand into products such as insurance, health care and wealth management specifically designed for LGBT customers, Meyers said.
"I was inspired to start Superbia by the sheer lack of needs and equal treatment of the LGBTQ being addressed and provided for in banking, insurance, healthcare and other fundamental services," Meyers said,"Obvious and harmful misses are the access to quality LGBTQ-designed products and the delivery of services within an affirming experience guaranteed to be free of intolerance and discrimination."
"I firmly believe that the LGBTQ community of 10-15 million, can (and should) organize in ways like never before — to unify our voice, the nearly $1.7 trillion in economic power and our extraordinary resilience, to our own full benefit and advantage," he continued.
"Superbia is a first-in-the-world. Superbia uses a unique structure of commercial and social entities designed to unify the community, deliver banking, insurance, healthcare and other services that actively address, solve and service the needs of LGBTQ individuals, families and businesses," Meyer concluded, "Superbia affirms you as an individual and elevates the LGBTQ community as a whole. We do this through the undeniably LGBTQ focused experience, products and services and through our authentic commitment to use Superbia profits in the sustainably funding of our equality and advancement of the LGBTQ community."