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Filene: CUs Can Grow Memberships in LGBT Community
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 6:40 AM

One underserved demographic that’s not frequently discussed in terms of financial services is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, which today comprises more than 10 million Americans.

Filene Research Institute began that discussion recently with a new paper, “Understanding the LGBT Opportunity in Financial Services,” which breaks down the unmet financial needs of the demographic.

The LGBT community appears to be a fit for credit unions, the research found, because credit unions have always sought to serve communities—such as immigrants, Hispanics and Millennials—typically left out by traditional financial institutions.

“Credit unions have a tremendous opportunity to be a differentiated provider of financial services for this growing consumer segment,” said George Hofheimer, Filene Research Institute chief knowledge officer. “The recent (U.S.) Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage and the national attention on transgender issues have heightened awareness of the unique needs of this population.”

The research delves into a number of topics such as:

  • The needs of the LGBT;
  • Discrimination the LGBT community has experienced; and
  • Transgender and financial identity.

The authors also have included a strategic plan that credit unions can follow to reach out and serve people who are LGBT.  

The plan may include an awareness plan, member messaging, language considerations, internal service and culture training, and ensuring equitable pricing and product recommendations appropriate for this market.