- Michigan's Department of Insurance and Financial Services on Monday approved the charter for a credit union geared toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender customers and allies.
- Superbia Credit Union, which aims to open online in early 2020, will offer nontraditional products, such as loans for transgender people in the process of transitioning, or gay couples looking to adopt or marry, in addition to insurance, health care and wealth management, said Myles Meyers, the credit union's founder.
- The U.S. LGBTQ community has $917 billion in buying power, a 2016 analysis by Witeck Communications found. But 28 states have no explicit laws protecting against discrimination by sexual orientation, according to Freedom for All Americans.
Same-sex borrowers, despite being "less risky overall," are 73% more likely to be denied when applying for a mortgage loan, according to a report published in May in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Mortgage interest rates for those applicants are 0.02% to 0.2% higher on average, which could add tens of thousands of dollars in repayments over the lifetime of the loan, the study found.
"I can walk into a bank or credit union and apply for a loan or credit card or savings accounts and frankly, no problem," Meyers said, according to Bloomberg. "If I walked in to the same institution with my husband, we can come across different responses and welcome."
Superbia aims to provide more favorable rates and remove fees by investing profit into the operation of the credit union, according to its website. It also looks to " award up to 30% of profit directly to LGBTQ organizations, initiatives and community needs."
Superbia isn't the U.S.'s first credit union focused on serving the LGBTQ community, however, according to Credit Union Times. That distinction may belong to the First Gay & Lesbian Credit Union in Dallas, which obtained its state charter in 1988, according to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). That credit union served 840 members and managed assets of $525,000; 54 loans valued at more than $337,000; and total shares and deposits of $442,996, according to its final NCUA call report. In 1997, the credit union was merged into Dallas Area Rapid Transit Federal Credit Union. That, in turn, was consolidated with the City Credit Union in Dallas in 2007, according to Credit Union Times.
Another LGBTQ community-focused financial institution is in the works. San Francisco-based LGBTQ Credit Union expects to submit a federal charter application with the NCUA this year and aims to open by 2023, Credit Union Times said.
Michigan state Democrat Sen. Jeremy Moss applauded entrepreneurs for filling a need in the LGBTQ community but bemoaned his state's lack of an anti-discrimination law. " It's burdensome that gay and trans Michiganders must depend on private businesses to take it upon themselves to provide equal treatment to employees and consumers," Moss told the Oakland Press.