Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered consumers are more anxious about their finances than straight people, according to results of a consumer survey released Tuesday.
The poll, conducted online between July 23 and July 29 by market research firms Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications, found that when it comes to financial institutions, gay people are more concerned than their nongay counterparts about individual privacy, are more dissatisfied with financial services, and are less likely to trust their financial institutions to fully respect them. In addition, self-identified gay investors are more likely to be anxious over poor investment decisions made in the past than nongay investors.
Of the 2,191 adults surveyed, about 6% self-identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. Nearly four out of 10 gay consumers (39%) stated dissatisfaction with the assistance given to them by financial institutions, compared with three out of 10 nongay consumers. Similarly, 40% of gay consumers do not trust financial institutions to respect "customers like them," compared with 32% of nongay customers.
"These survey findings don't surprise me at all," said Walter Schubert, founder of GFN.com, the Gay Financial Network. "Financial services companies have yet to fully understand that the needs and perceptions of GLBT Americans are very different from others'. Unfortunately, in the year 2002, lesbians and gays remain under the boot of legalized discrimination and continue to be unusually sensitive and protective in matters dealing with personal finance."