Fifth Third Bank to Celebrate 165 Years of Service, Innovation, Impact

CINCINNATI—Less than 1% of U.S. companies survive to mark their centennials. Fifth Third Bank, already decades past that milestone, celebrates its 165-year anniversary on June 17.

Fifth Third’s rich heritage began in 1858, when a group of visionaries led by William W. Scarborough founded the Bank of the Ohio Valley. While Fifth Third’s name evolved over time, its vision to create a trusted institution that would serve as a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity has remained the same. Over the years, the bank has become synonymous with stability, community impact and innovation. These, along with the bank’s ability to adapt to changing times while staying true to its core values, have resulted in it becoming one of the nation’s highest performing regional banks. The bank has grown to approximately 20,000 employees and retail branches spanning 11 states, plus commercial banking and wealth and asset management both there and in Texas and California.

"Banks inhabit a special place in the communities where they operate and in their customers’ lives," said Fifth Third President and CEO Tim Spence. "Along with that comes extra responsibility to be a proponent for positive change and well-being. I’m proud our employees have never forgotten that throughout our 165-year history. It inspires our continued commitment to innovation, exceptional financial services for our customers and strengthening our communities."

Fifth Third has a history of many firsts. In 1917, it was the first to establish a network of full-service branches in Cincinnati through the merger of Fifth-Third National and Union Savings Bank & Trust Co. It was one of the first financial institutions in the U.S. to establish a corporate foundation in 1948—the Fifth Third Foundation.

As an innovator focusing on customer experience and the future, Fifth Third became the first bank in the U.S. to establish an online network of ATMs in the 1970s. Jeanie, as the ATMs came to be known, was a beloved icon in Cincinnati and was synonymous to customers with easily access to their cash. It was the first to place banks in shopping malls in the 1950s and grocery stores in the 1980s.

Most recently, the bank launched Fifth Third Momentum® Banking, a first-of-its-kind banking solution that helps customers manage their everyday financial needs, and acquired Dividend Finance, Provide, Big Data Healthcare and Rize Money, Inc. as part of its fintech strategy.

The hallmark of Fifth Third’s success lies with its passionate, diverse and talented employees, who are united around the Bank’s core values. These values serve as the foundation of its culture and operations, as well as the way employees interact with customers and each other. Fifth Third has remained a pillar of strength and stability for its customers and the financial system throughout the decades.

"We have an impressive history when it comes to standing strong through good times and bad," said Amy Purcell, Fifth Third Bank historian. "No matter the decade, you can find an innovation or significant ways we helped improve the lives of our customers and communities. That hasn’t changed since our founding in 1858."

Notable Fifth Third Firsts

  • 1908: Jacob G. Schmidlapp, founder and president of Union Savings Bank & Trust Co., established the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, the United States’ first private fund dedicated solely to helping young women pursue higher education and careers.
  • 1917: First in Cincinnati and nearly in the U.S. to establish a network of full-service branches due to affiliation of Fifth-Third National and Union Savings Bank & Trust Co. (branched under Union’s state charter).
  • 1948: One of the first financial institution in the U.S. to establish a corporate foundation (The Fifth Third Foundation).
  • 1954: First in the U.S. to establish branches in shopping malls.
  • 1961-63: One of the first dozen or so banks in the United States and first in Cincinnati to convert accounting systems to computers (electronic data processing).
  • 1977: First in the U.S. to introduce an online network of automated teller machines (JEANIE®).
  • 1980s: First in the U.S. to establish seven-day-a-week Bank Mart® locations in grocery stores.
  • 2014: First bank in the U.S. to collaborate with NextJob, a nationwide reemployment solutions company, to offer a homeowner reemployment program. The program gives job search assistance to mortgage borrowers in serious risk of default, fully paid for by Fifth Third Bank.
  • 2017: First in the U.S. to launch a maternity concierge program for employees. First in the U.S. to create an app that helps customers pay down student loan debt.
  • 2018: First bank in the world and first Fortune 500 company to achieve 100% renewable power through a single solar project, executing a Power Purchase agreement in North Carolina with one of the largest solar projects in the United States.
  • 2021: One of the first national banks in the U.S. to offer an everyday banking solution that helps customers avoid and manage cash shortfalls, get paid and pay others, and reach savings goals, all while knowing their bank helps to protect their identity and finances (Fifth Third Momentum® Banking).
  • 2022: One of the first national banks in the U.S. to acquire a financing solution for solar energy (Dividend Finance).

Read more about Fifth Third’s history and the story of how we got our name, here.

About Fifth Third

Fifth Third is a bank that’s as long on innovation as it is on history. Since 1858, we’ve been helping individuals, families, businesses and communities grow through smart financial services that improve lives. Our list of firsts is extensive, and it’s one that continues to expand as we explore the intersection of tech-driven innovation, dedicated people and focused community impact. Fifth Third is one of the few U.S.-based banks to have been named among Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies® for several years. With a commitment to taking care of our customers, employees, communities and shareholders, our goal is not only to be the nation’s highest performing regional bank, but to be the bank people most value and trust.

Fifth Third Bank, National Association is a federally chartered institution. Fifth Third Bancorp is the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, and its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Deposit and credit products provided by Fifth Third Bank, national Association. Member FDIC.