Credit Suisse will be the first major bank to specifically target the LGBT community in Britain. The firm’s offering will follow the route of niche banking that has already been offered to the Muslim and Polish immigrant communities.
The Swiss owned bank says that it will offer a mixture of traditional private banking together with a range of specific services tailored towards gay clientèle.
Stephen Connolly, who is leading the Credit Suisse service, said: “Clients with us have no need to explain their lifestyles or – as we know happens in some cases – almost feel the need to justify the way they choose to live their lives.”
The aim is to target high net-worth individuals in their 30s and 40s.
HSBC already offers niche banking targeted at the Polish, Chinese and South Asian communities and offers Halal pensions, mortgages and stockbroking but has said it would not follow Credit Suisse’s lead.
Barclays and UBS, who are both highly ranked in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index said they wouldn’t offer similar services.
Ironically, the introduction of anti-discrimination legislation and the change in society’s attitude to homosexuality meant that in 2006, Ivan Massow who sold a financial services company set-up to offer gay services told the Guardian:”It is a long time since I have been involved in financial advice for the gay community and I don’t think there’s so much need for it any more. Times have changed.”
The “Pink Pound” is estimated to be worth in excess of £70 billion a year.