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Credit Suisse to expand in North Carolina after partial repeal of anti-LGBT law

Joseph McCormick May 9, 2017

Banking giant Credit Suisse has announced that it is going ahead with a 1,200 job expansion in the state of North Carolina after the state partially repealed its anti-LGBT law.

HB2 was partially repealed earlier this year, and the bank had put on hold the plans to build a technology hub while the law was in effect.

Credit Suisse, which launched an LGBT Index back in 2013, says if HB2 was still active it would not have gone ahead with its plans.

Bathroom sign

“We opposed that law. During the period that HB2 was on the books, we had to put our plans on hold. We did not think that expansion could be done in a way that was consistent with our core values,” Credit Suisse Vice Chairman Wilson Ervin told the Associated Press.

Deutsche Bank and PayPal had also cancelled plans for expansion in North Carolina over the law which had banned trans people from using gender-appropriate bathrooms and blocked local LGBT anti-discrimination ordinances.

But the law was partially repealed in a deal orchestrated by Governor Roy Cooper.

Despite the deal, local authorities are unable to enact anti-discrimination laws until 2020.

But Ervin said the partial repeal was “an important first step that re-establishes the minimum conditions for us to expand in the state.”

Governor Cooper added that he thinks the deal will mean other businesses will come back to the state.

“There’s no question that it will,” he said at a joint news conference with Ervin. “This was an important first step for our state. We still have more to do. We’re glad to have these good paying jobs in our state.”

Credit Suisse is making cuts overall, and has reduced its staffing numbers by thousands in the past year.

Related: Credit Suisse to offer gay banking service in UK

But the 1,200 jobs will be created in North Carolina, after the bank considered Jersey City.

Officially called House Bill 142, the bill to repeal HB2 prohibits local authorities from regulating multi-occupancy toilets, showers or changing facilities, leaving it up to the state.

The fact that local authorities are barred from making anti-LGBT discrimination illegal until 2020 prompted an outpouring of anger from many prominent LGBT activists, with Equality NC executive director Chris Sgro calling it a “fake repeal”.

Governor Cooper, who ran for election on a platform of repealing HB2, said: “It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals HB2 and begins to repair our reputation.”

In a joint statement, Majority Republican leaders Tim Moore and Phil Berger said: “Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy.”

Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said the repeal bill was a “disaster” which only “doubles down on discrimination” of LGBT people in the state.

“All lawmakers, D and R, must reject #HB2 ‘deal,’ he wrote on Twitter. “Stand strong with the LGBTQ community. We will be watching who leads & who sells us out.”

More: Credit Suisse, Governor Roy Cooper, hb142, hb2, North Carolina, US

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