Fifth Third Bank

Build a Stronger Community

"We see it as an integral part of our business strategies to ensure that our communities thrive. We are committed to forging strategic partnerships across our footprint to positively impact community needs. This work contributed to our ‘Outstanding’ CRA rating and our ongoing fulfillment of our $30 billion Community Commitment."

Byna Elliott,
Chief Corporate Community & Economic Development Officer




Fifth Third’s overall performance in Lending, Investments and Service—the three tests that financial institutions undergo under the federal Community Reinvestment Act—was rated “Outstanding” by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for its most recent examination period of January 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016.

Fifth Third was rated “Outstanding” in Lending and Investments and “High Satisfactory” on the Service component to merit the overall “Outstanding,” which is the highest possible rating.

The Federal Reserve Bank’s evaluation cited several reasons for our rating. According to the report, we demonstrated an excellent responsiveness to credit needs; distribution of loans among borrowers of different income levels and businesses of different revenue sizes; leadership in making community development loans and investments; and leadership in providing community development services.

Our CRA rating is a key marker in our ongoing efforts to fulfill our corporate Purpose to improve the lives of customers and the well-being of our communities.

"Outstanding" CRA Rating: How We Got Here

Community Commitment Plan: Year Two

We are making good progress on our $30 billion Community Commitment. With significant help and engagement with numerous community and business organizations, we completed year two of the five-year plan with $14.5 billion in lending and investments to improve lives throughout our 10 footprint states.

Homeownership remains a priority for many of our neighbors and we have a key role in helping them achieve that dream. Since the start of our Commitment, nearly 45,000 customers have turned to us for mortgage loans. A number of these took advantage of our new assistance program that reduces the burden of a down payment by providing up to $3,600 for low-income families. We also have been grateful for the opportunity to offer free affordable housing workshops in all of our markets.

Similarly, we were grateful for the opportunity to strengthen local business communities. With 28,000 loans worth $3.7 billion over the last two years, small business owners were able to build and expand their businesses, providing an economic boost to our communities.

Since 2016, Fifth Third Invested $14.5 billion, or 48.3 percent, of its total lending and investment commitment.

Areas received further economic boosts through $4.9 billion in community development loans and investments through the Fifth Third Community Development Corporation. One example is a $5 million investment made with IFF.

The mission-driven lender and real estate developer in Chicago creates opportunities for low-income communities throughout the Midwest. In response to need, our Commercial Real Estate group developed a 15-year permanent loan for affordable housing.

Philanthropic gifts also are a significant way that Fifth Third puts money behind its commitment. Nonprofit organizations throughout our footprint were the beneficiaries of $38.4 million in community support. The Fifth Third Foundation also launched the Strengthening Our Communities Fund that awards organizations grants for affordable housing, small business micro lending, technical assistance and financial empowerment programs. The Foundation awarded $2.5 million in such grants in 2017.

Community Advisory Forums, formed as part of the Commitment, completed their first year of meetings with leaders of the Bank in 2017. Conversations with our national and regional advisors have been frank, strategic and productive, helping us be a more responsive and responsible community leader. Employees also conducted community conversations throughout our footprint, the continuation of a commitment we made as we developed our five-year plan to regularly engage with civic and other organizations.

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Impact Story

Accelerating Affordable Housing Capacity

Building housing capacity through training of mission-based affordable housing professionals for community leaders is a key component of our $30 billion Community Commitment. In 2017, we partnered with the National Development Council (NDC) to offer Rental Housing Development Finance, a class in NDC’s Housing Development Finance Professional Certification series, to nearly 40 emerging community leaders from eight states.

The participants, who were high-performing real estate professionals dedicated to helping low- to moderate-income families get into affordable rental housing, were brought to our corporate headquarters for the five-day course, with Fifth Third covering all expenses. It was done as part of our emerging leaders program, which has enabled leaders to participate in educational forums and conferences over the past several years.

“The need for more affordable housing is an issue that affects the entire United States, especially in minority, low- and moderate-income neighborhoods,” said Tom Jackson, director of training at NDC. “This training prepares staff from housing advocacy and development organizations to more effectively tackle their communities’ needs by building their capacity to close financing gaps that keep critical projects from moving from plans to occupancy.”

Byna Elliott, senior vice president and Fifth Third’s chief corporate community and economic development officer, said the course would empower professionals in their communities. “These are mission-based developers who will focus on neighborhood redevelopment and quality affordable housing. Through this training, they will be equipped to take an idea from paper to a tangible development project. They’ll be able to ensure that these projects create sustainable community redevelopment and stabilize communities.”

Financial Education & Empowerment

Our L.I.F.E. (Lives Improved through Financial Empowerment®) programs deliver smart, practical (and often personal) financial education to individuals at every age and stage of life.

We now offer six L.I.F.E. programs, including two that debuted in 2017. We offer our L.I.F.E. programs in a variety of ways, most of them with a trusted community or business partner organization that helps us connect with the people who can most benefit from our financial expertise.


$martPath was a new program for us in 2017 that was funded through a grant from the Fifth Third Foundation. We worked with the University of Cincinnati (UC) Economics Center to deliver this financial education program for grades 1 through 6 in the states of Ohio, Michigan and Florida. The program earned UC and Fifth Third an Honorable Mention from the American Bankers Association for advancing financial education. In total, $martPath was taught in 115 school districts in those three states from March through September. In Ohio, the average percentage of low- and moderate-income students was 61.8 percent. In Michigan, that figure was 58.2 percent, and in Florida, it was 47 percent.

“This program was a game-changer for my students,” said a teacher in Columbus, Ohio. “The environment in which my students live is one that does not always embrace the importance of informed decision making. My students enjoyed every lesson.” Those lessons include: goal setting, budgeting, saving and spending decisions, methods of payment, business operations and more. $martPath uses animated stories at each grade level, along with traditional classroom activities and online interactive exercises.

Young Bankers Club

Fifth Third’s Young Bankers Club® program was developed in-house in 2004 and has graduated 21,123 fifth-grade students. In 2017, we graduated 2,451 students who reside in our 10 footprint states. The program is taught by our employees who visit elementary schools once per week for either five or 10 weeks, or at the teacher’s request. It teaches the importance of education, saving and budgeting.

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Impact Story

A Letter from A Young Bankers Club Teacher

Loretta Humphrey-Cruz, a community development relationship manager in Detroit, Michigan, recently received this letter from a curriculum coach at a school that has used Fifth Third’s Young Bankers Club program for many years, demonstrating how foundational financial education can result in positive behavior shifts that will have long-term benefits. Cruz said, “I’m so grateful to Ms. Moreland-Trice for updating me on her former student. It is so rewarding to know that our program resonates. Sometimes it takes a while to see the difference we make in the lives of people we serve—it’s so gratifying to know that we are helping to set students up for lifelong success.

Good afternoon Mrs. Humphrey-Cruz,

First, I want to thank you for allowing Rutherford Winans Academy for being a part of the Fifth Third Bank Young Bankers Club. I wanted to reach out and share a success story about one of my students. Six years ago, when you first selected our school to participate, I had a young man that would brag about spending $75 on one pair of Nike socks. The further we got into your curriculum, the more he expressed how much he was learning about how to manage money. At the end of your program, you gave all of the students a sample checkbook and a starter check for $5.00. My student’s mother took him to a Fifth Third branch and opened a savings account for him.

I checked in on him recently and talked to his mother about her son, who was then entering the ninth grade. His mother told me that his savings account was still open and that he had saved approximately $5,000 with the help of family. She also told me that he began purchasing a lot of his items when on sale and putting the money he saved on those purchases into his account!

As an educator, I want to thank you for helping me to inspire my students. We appreciate you and Fifth Third Bank at Rutherford Winans Academy. Thank you for letting us be a part of the Young Bankers Club program.

Mrs. Falicia Moreland-Trice, Curriculum Coach at Rutherford Winans Academy

Financial Access & Empowerment Programs

Fifth Third Bank's digital financial education and entrepreneurship program for high school students.





Finance Academy offers two unique courses: Financial Education and Entrepreneurship. Both courses meet Jump$tart and Common Core national and state curriculum standards.

Fifth Third Finance Academy

By the time many Americans reach adulthood, they have already experienced the burden of financial stress. Research shows that 95 percent of parents agree that students should learn about personal finance in school. Last year, Fifth Third took a significant step forward in its financial education programming for high school students. In conjunction with education technology company EVERFI, Inc., we developed and launched Fifth Third Finance Academy, which gives all students an equal opportunity to learn essential financial skills.

Finance Academy includes two web-based courses. The financial literacy course is a series of modules covering topics like investing basics and common financial accounts. Each course module provides bite-sized instructional animations that make the topics approachable and relatable to students. In addition, Finance Academy immerses students in real-life financial scenarios and documentation, such as filling out a FAFSA form. Through its entrepreneurship course, Finance Academy builds and empowers the next generation of business owners by guiding them through the creation of a business plan—from idea generation to taking a business to market to sustainable business practices.

“I feel like it will be good for my personal finances and knowing exactly where I want to be.”

Mikaela Still, a 2017 Finance Academy student

The course technology of Finance Academy uniquely tracks the progress of each student. They are assessed before, during and after the course to ensure financial proficiency. While students are on their computers and mobile devices learning, teachers get real-time student score reports, supplemental offline lesson plans, detailed standards alignment guides, answer keys for all assessments and discussion guides. The learning doesn’t end when the courses do. We built programming and outreach—called Financial Empowerment Days—into the program offering. On Financial Empowerment Days, employee volunteers visit schools and classrooms to lead continued education experiences. In 2017, we educated 30,215 students through Finance Academy and students completed nearly 93,000 course hours.

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Fifth Third Bank Empower U*

Our Empower U program is a financial education curriculum for adults and covers such subjects as preparing for homeownership, protecting one’s identity and ways to finance higher education. It is taught both to employees of business clients as well as in the community. In Cleveland, our employees worked with MetroHealth Hospital on a program called Metro Match, which gave MetroHealth employees the opportunity to establish an emergency savings fund while taking Empower U courses. In Kentucky, we partnered with Brescia University in Owensboro to provide financial empowerment resources for their students. This included Financial Center Manager Trish Green participating in their summer orientation programs, teaching a basic banking class for incoming freshman and offering workshops on budgeting and credit building for the general student population.


Our workforce solution program is one in which customers of Fifth Third can get job search and training assistance. In collaboration with NextJob, a reemployment company, we offer a three-pronged training program for distressed mortgage customers, and we also offer online training called the Job Seeker’s Toolkit, which can be accessed via our authenticated banking site at or on board our eBuses. In 2017, we expanded the program with a new collaboration with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to provide NextJob services for members.

Financial Empower eBus Logo

Financial Empowerment Mobiles

Our eBuses made over 200 tour stops in 2017 and met with 16,272 people who were seeking access to quality financial products and services, financial education, credit counseling, job search and training help and VITA tax preparation services. They also were used to support hurricane efforts in Florida.

Community Development Capital Solutions

We funded over $2 billion in community development loans and invested $209 million through the Fifth Third CDC to support communities in 2017. Community development is a key component of our Community Commitment plan as we work to help foster and build sustainable communities that provide for increased economic opportunities for both businesses and individuals.

Regular interaction with community organizations and leaders is one way to make a difference. Our Community Advisory Forums—the national group as well as five statewide forums—are comprised of leading community advisors and practitioners. We meet with them several times each year and also engage with hundreds of other community organizations in every market we serve. These conversations are vital to ensuring that we are addressing the most pressing needs of our communities and help us to develop strategic plans so we can affect the most positive change.

Illustrating this point is a project called Bond Hill Roselawn Senior Housing in Cincinnati. The project, a 50-unit affordable housing community, was part of the city’s development plan. We came together in multiple ways to support the plan. In 2017, our Commercial Bank made a construction loan of $6 million as well as a $1.7 million loan at the completion of the project. The Fifth Third CDC also committed $10.2 million in the project.

The Fifth Third CDC has invested more than $3 billion into local communities since its inception.

The property, when completed, will be comprised of a four-story elevator-serviced residential building with one- and two-bedroom apartments. The facility will include a community room, exercise and fitness programs, wellness checks, financial case management, estate planning, life management programs, social activities, community events, transportation services and mentoring programs.

In Cincinnati, the CDC invested more than $11 million in the Abington Race and Pleasant project in the city’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. The project involves the renovation of five dilapidated buildings and consists of 50 units of affordable family housing above seven commercial spaces. The project has multi-tax sources and fundings to make this project come together.

The CDC also invested $3.65 million into Emerald Gardens, an apartment complex in West Hamlin, West Virginia. It marks the first investment in West Virginia since 2014 as it has a limited supply of low-income housing tax credit properties. West Hamlin is located 30 minutes southwest of Huntington. The project consists of 42 townhomes targeted for families at or below 40 and 60 percent area median income.

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Impact Story

Stepping up in Times of Disaster

When parts of the country were ravaged by devastating hurricanes in 2017, we mobilized financial empowerment mobiles, or eBuses, to affected regions, primarily in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Our eBuses visited Tampa, Naples and Daytona Beach and served as stations to apply for FEMA assistance, use a Wi-Fi hotspot, charge cell phones and served as cooling stations. We placed two mobile ATMs in Florida in areas where many ATMs weren’t working and assembled forces to reopen our financial centers quickly to meet community needs.

An assistance program for impacted areas meant waiving or refunding some fees, along with other financial relief. Our corporation, the Foundation and employees also joined with the community to provide more than $500,000 through grants and other support.

Impact Story

Giving Children an Advantage

The Fifth Third Community Development Corporation (CDC), in collaboration with the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, helped ensure that 1,000 economically disadvantaged children in Ohio and Kentucky started the 2017-2018 school year with the right supplies through the Starting at an Advantage initiative.

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Backpacks and school supply kits were provided for 1,000 children.

Backpacks and school supply kits were provided for 1,000 children.

The CDC obtained classroom-supply lists from a variety of districts to compile a back-to-school package geared toward three age groups: pre-kindergarten, elementary and secondary (middle- and high-schoolers). In total, the CDC, through the Ohio Capital’s Impact Fund, donated $100,000 to the initiative. The children who benefitted live in affordable housing developments in which the CDC has invested.

“Our work to provide families with safe, decent and affordable housing is a critical factor in advancing the stability of children,” said Catherine Cawthon, senior vice president and head of the Fifth Third CDC. “Helping provide school supplies is an additional way for us to make an immediate impact.” The Starting at an Advantage initiative was a first step to provide children with the support and enrichment they need in the classroom.

The CDC also is a generous partner in the Resident Development Fund, an Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing program that provides access to summer camps and other enrichment opportunities. The CDC supported a $75,000 grant toward sending children to camp and providing backpacks.

Employee Volunteerism

It’s our privilege to be an integral part of the communities we serve and to support organizations like the United Way in all of our regions. In 2017, our corporate and employee donations totaled $7.1 million.

Our leaders, like Bob Sullivan, regional chairman of Fifth Third Bank (Chicago), served as the chair of Chicago’s Metropolitan United Way Campaign, a position he was well prepared for after his previous leadership of Cincinnati’s campaign. His campaign exceeded its goals. Our support goes beyond dollars, though. Employee team members extend a hand into their neighborhoods through volunteerism. In 2017, our employees logged 112,908 volunteer hours.

For example, more than 1,000 employees, families and friends walked more than 1.2 million miles last year in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night. The event aims to bring light to the darkness of a cancer diagnosis through hope, research and support for patients, families, friends, doctors, nurses, researchers, colleagues and caregivers. In addition to showing their support with their feet, our employees helped raise more than $300,000 for the effort. In addition, the Cincinnati city-wide event was chaired by our CAO, Teresa Tanner. Her leadership resulted in a donations increase of 36%.

In Indiana, we revved up efforts to drive food donations in the community around Fifth Third Day (5/3 on the calendar) by partnering with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and INDYCAR driver Graham Rahal. Employee volunteers collected pasta throughout the month of May to benefit Second Helpings, a local nonprofit, and the Flanner House Urban Garden as part of our annual Feeding Our Communities initiative. “We are thankful Fifth Third is committed to helping end hunger in our region,” said Brandon Cosby, executive director for Flanner House. “Every day we see people who are facing food insecurity. Fifth Third employees are invested in rolling up their sleeves to contribute to our efforts to build a sustainable food system for our community.”

Employees also helped support the Feeding Our Communities initiative in Kentucky, where we partnered with St. Vincent De Paul and God’s Pantry, both in Lexington. Throughout May, across our banking centers, we collected food from employees and customers for the organizations. We also contributed $8,000 and helped serve lunch and pack food boxes.

Employee Volunteerism



Our Fifth Third Foundation was the first corporate philanthropic foundation established by a financial institution in 1948. Since then, our foundation has focused on providing financial support to organizations in the areas of community development, health and human services, the arts and education.

The Foundation’s support is augmented by donations made through Fifth Third Bancorp. In 2017, our combined philanthropic support was $21.7 million.

Strengethening Our Communities Fund Grants

One of the most significant announcements we made last year was $2.5 million in Strengthening Our Communities Fund grants. Funded primarily by the Fifth Third Foundation, the Fund awards grants to designated nonprofit programs that support homeownership, affordable housing, small business development and financial stability for individuals and families. Programs in these areas strengthen and stabilize communities and make them a better place to live, work and thrive.

“The Strengthening Our Community grants are important because they result in people’s lives being positively changed, and they allow organizations the opportunity to expand their reach,” said Heidi Jark, managing director, Fifth Third Foundation. “Through these grants, we are able to continue building lasting relationships and strengthen the communities we serve.”

The fund in 2017 had an impact on more than 355 people through neighborhood revitalization projects and nearly 5,200 people who received workforce development and financial education services. More than 1,640 households were assisted with resources for home repair and rehab programs that helped senior citizens maintain their homes and through homeowner assistance programs that helped people achieve the American dream of homeownership. Nearly 2,200 more people were helped by economic development programs, including technical assistance and micro-lending for small businesses.

Fifth Third Bank’s Western Michigan region received $250,000 in grants. “We are humbled and grateful to be a Strengthening Our Communities grant recipient and to mobilize these funds in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood of Grand Rapids,” said BriAnne McKee, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. “Fifth Third Bank’s generosity and commitment to affordable housing and strong neighborhoods is bringing the neighbors of Roosevelt Park one step closer to realizing their vision for their neighborhood.” Other organizations in the region that received funds were the Literacy Center of West Michigan for linking adult and financial literacy programs, and Start Garden for its loan pool fund.

Impact Story

Strengthening Our Communities through Strategic Grants

Strengthening Our Communities grants were awarded to deserving organizations across Fifth Third’s footprint, including:

Central Ohio

  • Community Development for All People’s healthy neighborhoods and families program.
  • Habitat for Humanity MidOhio’s Habitat Housing Initiative.
  • Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council’s supplier diversity executive education program.
  • Partners Achieving Community Transition’s home repair program.
  • The United Way of Central Ohio’s leadership academy.


  • Concordia University of Chicago for the higher education of 11 students as part of Tomorrow’s Promise.


  • Affordable Homeownership Foundation’s program for affordable housing for low-to-moderate income home buyers with disabilities.
  • Central Florida Urban League’s Meet the Bankers.
  • Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa’s comprehensive asset building project.
  • Florida Gulf Coast University’s growth acceleration and new market development initiatives.
  • Florida Housing Coalition’s nonprofit rental development capacity.
  • Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida’s technical assistance.
  • University of South Florida Foundation’s Florida Small Business Development Center.
  • Urban League of Broward County’s Entrepreneurship Center.


  • Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs for the ACE Business Advisory Services.
  • Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership’s Neighborhood by Neighborhood Initiative.
  • Georgia Advancing Communities Together’s Capacity Building Initiative.
  • Urban League of Greater Atlanta’s Housing and Community Development Program.

North Carolina

  • Charlotte Housing Authority/CORE’s Destination Homeownership.
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership’s Homeownership Center of Charlotte.
  • Community Link’s VITA/Homeownership Asset Building program.
  • North Carolina Development Initiative’s Building Capacity and Meeting the Need fund.
  • North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development’s small business technical assistance.
  • Renaissance West Community Initiative’s computer literacy training program.


  • Area Office on Aging to provide accessibility-related repairs for senior home owners.
  • LISC of Toledo’s First Steps to Homeownership Initiative.
  • YMCA of Greater Toledo to support financial literacy within its Youth Opportunity program;
  • YWCA of Northwest Ohio to support survivors of emotional and physical abuse.

"The Bank is committed to creating strategic, philanthropic community partnerships that align with programs and impact focus areas for the purpose of empowering communities and the people in them."

Byna Elliott, Cief Corporate Community & Development Officer

Up Next:

"The commitment to Be Respectful and Inclusive is a commitment to live a Core Value that makes Fifth Third a place where people want to work, want to bank and want to connect. Inclusion in all things fosters respect, trust and good will. It makes all of us better and it makes our Bank better, too."

Jule Kucera,
Chief Diversity & Corporate Responsibility Officer

Be Respectful & Inclusive >>

2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

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