Over the past few years, banks have increasingly celebrated LGBTQ Pride Month in June through a variety of initiatives, including corporate sponsorship of Pride parades and events. However, amidst this month-long affirmation of identity and celebration of progress in attaining equal rights, firms should recognize that they are engaging with a marginalized community that continues to confront multifaceted social and political issues, many of which directly impact our financial security. A 2018 TD Ameritrade survey found that even though both LGBTQ and straight millennials save and invest similar proportions of their incomes, only 29% of LGBTQ millennials feel financially secure, and only 37% feel prepared to make informed decisions about their finances. Similarly, a 2019 Morning Consult survey found that 25% of LGBTQ respondents say their gender identity or sexuality has negatively impacted their finances, whether from job insecurity, increased debt, lack of familial support or other structural issues.
Four firms—U.S. Bank, Chase, SunTrust and PNC Bank—within the Bank Monitor coverage group have recognized financial struggles specific to the LGBTQ community and offer year-round support via online financial education resources. Though the type, findability and presentation of their resources vary, all four firms employ an excellent practice of providing articles written by LGBTQ people. By using their high-profile platforms to amplify voices from within the community instead of speaking for us, these firms share a clear example of allyship.
U.S. Bank excels due to a multitude of easily findable, categorized resources within a dedicated microsite. The well-rounded and well-organized LGBT Stories interface includes featured content, personal stories, financial insights and education resources.
Chase, SunTrust and PNC Bank also provide a variety of financial education resources that are easily findable through search, though not housed in a single interface. Chase’s News & Stories interface includes several articles written by members of the LGBTQ community about various financial topics for individuals, couples and businesses. SunTrust also offers a wealth of educational articles and planning resources, most of which focus on retirement or investing for the future. PNC provides similar—though fewer—resources such as articles outlining financial protections and goals, as well as an interview with seven PNC employees about what being “out” at work means to them.
Beyond the resources provided by these firms, nine firms within the Bank Monitor coverage group do not offer any consolidated or searchable LGBTQ-specific resources, while five other firms simply offer a note about the LGBTQ community on employee inclusivity or corporate diversity pages. Wells Fargo is the only firm to provide a dedicated public site LGBT Resource Center, though it mostly overviews corporate initiatives and includes little online content or support.
While banks could improve their digital outreach to the LGBTQ community throughout the year, most firms in the coverage group do share celebratory posts on social media throughout Pride Month, with several—such as Bank of America, Citi and TD Bank—also displaying rainbow logos. Wells Fargo stands out for using the platform to spread awareness of external LGBTQ organizations and resources, such as the LGBTQ crisis prevention organization The Trevor Project.
Beyond the digital sphere, TD Bank and Citi are among several firms that have made great strides towards employee inclusivity and in-person support for members of the LGBTQ community. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo advocated for the LGBTQ community for years before same-sex marriage was legal and was the first United States bank to produce a commercial featuring a lesbian couple. Capital One sponsored renovations to San Francisco’s LGBT Center, which provides small business assistance, a trans employment program and general financial services.
The impact of such initiatives, though outside the scope of Corporate Insight’s research, should not be discounted. However, all firms should also consider providing more free, public online resources in order to further expand their digital outreach and support of LGBTQ communities throughout the year.