On Monday, September 9th, the state of Michigan made history as it chartered its first credit union in decades. Superbia Credit Union exists as the first credit union to serve and advocate solely for the LGBTQ community and its supporting allies across the country. Present at the signing was the founder of Superbia, Myles Meyers, along with Governor Gretchen Whitmer, State Sen. Jeremy Moss, DIFS Director Anita Fox, industry veteran Linda Bodie, and others.
As the founder of Superbia, Meyers felt compelled to create the company after noticing a distinct lack of commitment to the LGBTQ community from other financial institutions and hopes to start a new trend of support with Superbia’s establishment. As the first LGBTQ credit union in America, Superbia will offer products and services that would be unavailable to community members at other institutions, including a loan to support transgender people in the process of transitioning. Superbia’s products and services will also be available to anyone supporting the mission, as it is an inclusive organization.
Superbia Services Inc. has received an overwhelming amount of support since its founding, raising funds over an 18-month period that funded the credit union application, operational development work and provided for a beginning position in the credit union.
The signing of this charter also holds great significance for the credit union industry and particularly the industry within Michigan for several reasons. In Michigan, Superbia becomes the first newly state chartered credit union since 1986, and industry professionals are hopeful that this could reignite the desire for and inspire the creation of more credit unions in the near future, particularly ones as specialized as Superbia.
Also present at the signing was Victor Pantea, Manager of Marketplace Alliances for CU*Answers. Pantea commented that, “The chartering of Superbia might help reinvigorate the desire for new credit unions. Instead of seeing credit unions condense and consolidate into fewer numbers, we’d like to support the creation of new credit unions, and I think Superbia is a good step toward that.” Through its De Novo Scholarship program, CU*Answers will provide Superbia with its first two years of data processing services for free.
Superbia not only makes history as the first credit union in the United States to solely serve the LGBTQ community and its allies across the country, but also as a completely virtual credit union. With no brick and mortar branch, Superbia will rely exclusively on technology and the services of CUSOs to serve their members. The chartering of this credit union could be a step towards a future in completely virtual banking. It also suggests a possible shift in credit union trends in regards to the field of membership.
“The field of membership, the common bond that is important to credit unions,” Pantea noted, “is being reshaped and redefined. It used to be that where you lived, worked, went to school or church was the common bond between members. Now, with social media and web-driven communications being dominant, that field of membership is going to be looked at differently than it has in the past.”
No longer dependent on location, people from all over can come together online to search for solutions to their financial needs and create something that works to serve their shared goals and values. The credit union industry might begin to see a shift towards more specialized credit unions with a specific field of membership, with Superbia leading the way.
Superbia plans to “open its doors” in the first quarter of 2020.