From this week, Credit Suisse’s private-banking clients in the US will be able to buy into a portfolio of blue-chip companies with LGBT-friendly policies.

The Credit Suisse LGBT Equality Index is the first index to track the equity performance of companies supporting and promoting equality for members of the LGBT community.

“Wall Street, and Credit Suisse in particular, has a strong track record of providing leadership and support for LGBT-related issues,” said Timothy O’Hara, Credit Suisse Global Head of Equities. “We are very pleased to be launching an Index that tracks the economic impact of LGBT-supportive policies.”

He continued: “The associated portfolio offers a compelling and unique impact investment opportunity for our Credit Suisse Private Banking USA clients.”

Index inclusion will require a score of 80 or above on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) as well as strong capital appreciation potential.

The HRC Corporate Equality Index sets the standard for corporate policies and practices related to LGBT employees in the US.

The index came into being through conversations between Credit Suisse and LGBT Capital, an authority in the field of LGBT-related socially responsible investment activity.

Paul Thompson, co-founder of LGBT Capital, said: “As a strong believer in LGBT impact investing, we firmly believe in the power of combining sound commercial investment with furthering LGBT liberalisation and freedom globally.”

“For us, investing in quality companies that recognise the business case for LGBT diversity in employment is both sound investment management and a force to effect change for good,” he said.

Thompson went to say: “We are very proud to have been in a position to support CS in their efforts to launch this LGBT Index, and view this launch a as major step towards placing LGBT related impact investing as a generally recognised component of the wider arena of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI)”.