Banking

Michigan Approves Charter For First LGBT Credit Union

Michigan has approved a charter for a new financial institution designed for LGBT customers.

Superbia Credit Union will offer products such as loans for transgender people in the process of transitioning, said Myles Meyers, founder of New York-based Superbia Services Inc., which created the credit union. The charter means that online service could launch in early 2020.

Now that it has a charter, Superbia will work on forming a board and hiring executives. There are also plans to offer products such as insurance, health care and wealth management specifically designed for LGBT customers.

While many American corporations advertise their support for LGBT rights — and a majority of Americans say they are for gay marriage — it’s still legal to discriminate against LGBT consumers in most U.S. states. In fact, research shows members of the LGBT community have difficulty securing banking services regardless of where they are located, with same-sex couples less likely to be approved for a loan. And when they do secure financing, they usually pay more for it.

“I can walk into a bank or credit union and apply for a loan or credit card or savings accounts and frankly, no problem,” said Meyers, according to Bloomberg. “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.”

“The LGBTQ community is strong and persistent,” he added. “We’ve been working with, and will continue to work with, the community to improve economic equality by removing the risks of intolerance and discrimination in banking services that continue to plague the community in different forms ... We are extremely appreciative to the Michigan DIFS for its efforts on our application and the signing of the executive order to form Superbia Credit Union.”

And Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) told The Oakland Press that “state law doesn’t protect Michigan’s LGBTQ community from discrimination in the workplace and public accommodations ... 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.”

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