Building Strong, Inclusive Communities

Since our founding, Fifth Third has been committed to helping people achieve their best lives through responsible financial solutions that are right for individuals and the community. This legacy of support has confirmed for us that we are capable of improving lives and making generational, transformative impacts in the communities we serve.

Our Community Reinvestment Act rating was “Outstanding” on our most recent exam (for the period of Jan. 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016). We are committed not only to maintaining our level of investment, lending and service, but also to increasing it as we move into the future.

A proof point of that commitment is our public announcement of $30 billion—increased to $32 billion in 2018—to support comprehensive and innovative solutions to challenges facing our communities. These challenges include the increasing costs of housing and declining homeownership rates, especially in communities of color; diminished access to capital for small businesses seeking to start, grow and expand; and a gap in financial education and workforce development.

Our work to address these critical areas has been intentional. We have leveraged research, incubated ideas and scaled successful program models. We are proud to share examples of how we are transforming communities—person by person, neighborhood by neighborhood and city by city. Through compassionate and inclusive lending, investments and services, we are working to create healthy, vibrant and economically-diverse communities. For us, it’s not about numbers or scores. It’s about doing what’s right for the people we serve; the people who entrust their dreams to us.

Byna Elliot

"Every day we work with community partners as well as public and private sector organizations to make strategic investments to improve the financial health and sustainability of neighborhoods. We have driven deeply into the markets we serve, putting our hearts, our hands and our heads fully into our commitment."

Byna Elliott
  Chief Corporate Community and
  Economic Development Officer

Community Impact Figures









Progress Under Our $32 Billion Community Commitment

We have delivered $20.3 billion under the five-year Community Commitment plan we developed in 2016. At that funding level, we are ahead of pace to deliver on our promise to communities in the areas of mortgage, small business and community development and investments. Our Community Commitment plan was created in consultation with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and developed from insight gleaned from meetings with more than 200 community organizations.

In 2018, we increased our $30 billion Commitment to $32 billion to reflect our planned expansion in Chicago. The additional $2 billion will be invested entirely in Chicagoland and increases the Commitment there from $3.6 billion to $5.6 billion. The complete investment will be made within the timeframe of the original Commitment, which runs through 2020.

Community Commitment: $32 Billion

Since 2016, Fifth Third invested $20.3 billion, or 68 percent of its total lending and investment commitment.*





*68 percent reflects percentage of $30 billion. The increase of the Commitment to $32 billion begins in 2019.


Helping Lead the Urban Core’s Rebirth

We are proud to be part of Detroit’s renaissance. In 2016, our Bank’s leadership took a bold step and relocated our regional headquarters from Southfield to the iconic One Woodward Building downtown because we wanted a role in the city’s rebirth. In doing so, we joined our administrative functions with our six downtown Detroit banking centers. Since then, we have been able to grow by serving more businesses and consumers. More important, the move was a catalyst for others to follow.

Advancing Inclusive Business Growth

Our commitment to small business growth, including minority entrepreneurship, led to our $3 million investment in the Entrepreneurs of Color (EOC) Fund, a fund dedicated to closing the wealth, capital and credit gap. Administered by the Detroit Development Fund, the EOC Fund has grown from $6.5 million to more than $22 million by December 2018. It’s a model that worked so well that we have made investments in similar funds in other market cities, including Chicago and Cincinnati.

One of the major challenges Detroit has faced for several decades is urban blight and flight. We collaborated with the Detroit Land Bank Authority, the owner of tax-reverted properties in the city, on its Disposition and Buy Back program. The program enables occupants of properties owned by the land bank authority to gain ownership of the home in which they live.

"We are taking the strategy that worked in Midtown and scaling it citywide to bring more development to neighborhoods, and now, with the help of our partners, we’re going to make sure the development is equitable and inclusive to all."

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan

Krystal Spears

Krystal Spears

Krystal Spears is one such resident. She was a renter whose landlord failed to pay the property taxes on her home in Southwest Detroit. A part of the “working poor,” Krystal had believed homeownership was beyond her reach—until the Buy Back program came along. She was able to purchase her home for $1,000 and enter into an agreement to pay at least $100 per month for one year to cover the property tax bill. The land bank authority estimates that it owns as many as 3,900 occupied properties. For hundreds of future homeowners like Krystal, Fifth Third holds the individual accounts for the monthly deposit. At year-end 2018, our collaboration with the Detroit Lank Bank Authority had helped convert 465 residents into homeowners.

In December 2018, we made a $5 million commitment to invest in the city’s efforts to revitalize 10 Detroit neighborhoods. We were one of seven companies to commit $5 million to fund physical improvements to parks, streetscapes, commercial corridors, single family housing and affordable housing in the next five years. We will be deploying our $5 million Fifth Third Foundation grant to adopt a specific neighborhood area in Detroit, which will be announced in 2019.

In our most recent community assessment, 58 percent of respondents called the lack of affordable housing a major concern. The Fifth Third Community Development Corporation (CDC), a wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary of Fifth Third Bancorp, invests in places that people call home. One such investment was Alfred Brush Park, new construction of rental housing in the historic district of Brush Park, Detroit. The development provided 54 new affordable housing units for seniors. The investment helped provide much-needed affordable housing in an area where affordable housing has been steadily declining. Further, the neighborhood offers access to jobs and the region’s highest concentration of economic, educational, cultural and entertainment assets.

Financing the American Dream

A 2017 report by the Urban Institute lists down payments as the primary barrier to homeownership. According to the report, 53 percent of renters cite saving for a down payment as an obstacle, and 80 percent of consumers are unaware of how much lenders require for a down payment or believe all lenders require a down payment above 5 percent.1

These statistics confirmed what our own customers were telling us. By providing up to $3,600 in assistance, our down payment assistance (DPA) program—launched in 2017—has helped over 1,800 customers achieve the goal of owning their own home.

“I have always dreamed of purchasing a home where my kids can play in the backyard,” said Ken White, a married father of four in eastern Michigan. “But saving for a down payment was hard. I was paying about $900 in rent each month and working to feed and clothe my family. I always seemed to fall short.”

Detroit Loan Specialist Priscilla Hampton was able to get Ken and his family into the home of their dreams through the $3,600 DPA benefit and another grant program. “It was truly a pleasure to sit at the closing table with Ken as his dream was coming true,” Priscilla said. “This is what we do. We overcome obstacles and push forward in supporting the American dream.”

The White family

The White family's new home

The White family has a new home in Detroit thanks, in part, to Fifth Third’s down payment assistance program.

Creating Paths to Financial Well-Being

One of the ways we serve Detroit communities is by driving our Financial Empowerment Mobiles, or eBuses, directly to them. A Detroit eBus tour in 2018 reached more than 15,000 people and provided services like job search training and credit counseling, and through collaborations with local nonprofits, services like youth dental visits. Our eBus visited 80 sites in Detroit and surrounding areas.

We also deliver comprehensive financial empowerment programs to people at all ages and stages. The Fifth Third Finance Academy is one such program. In its first full year, Finance Academy educated over 8,000 high school students in Detroit, representing 16,580 hours of learning. Additionally, $2,500 scholarships were awarded to two Finance Academy students in Detroit last year.

We also launched our workforce development program with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) last year. In May, Fifth Third sponsored the Detroit Branch NAACP Career Fair. Our Human Capital team was on hand to discuss career opportunities at Fifth Third and job coaches from NextJob, a national reemployment company, met with over 200 individuals to assist with interview readiness. We have collaborated with NextJob for many years, bringing job search and training services to customers at risk of foreclosure and to others looking for their next career.

We further leveraged our collaboration with NextJob to create weekly Job Club meetings at the NAACP branch, including eight weeks of meetings with NAACP staff. The Job Club provided career resources and training each week. Tamara, a NextJob participant from Michigan, was grateful for the career advice she received. “NextJob provided me with a job coach who supported me every step of the way, encouraged me to take on challenges and helped me build my confidence.”

Nicholas Martinez

Nicholas Martinez of Chavez High School won a $2,500 Fifth Third Finance Academy scholarship in 2018. He said, “The Finance Academy course savings module has had a very positive impact on my life. It showed me many things, including how to save up money myself, providing fine examples of how to save and even videos with descriptive examples.”

Fifth Third eBus

Cussandra McAfee, wholesale client advisor in eastern Michigan, is ready to greet community members on our eBus.


Revitalizing Neighborhoods in the Queen City

Cincinnati has undergone a renaissance of its own in recent years, with developments in places like The Banks, a large swath of downtown land that includes several professional sports stadiums along the Ohio River. Today, The Banks is teeming with restaurants, entertainment and sports activities, as well as a family friendly urban park. The city also has seen revitalization in its central business district—where Fifth Third’s headquarters is located on Fountain Square—and north into the area known as Over-the-Rhine.

The Fifth Third CDC is an important part of the renaissance. Since its inception in 1989, the CDC has invested more than $4 billion in communities the Bank serves, including funding over 700 projects that focus on affordable housing, commercial, retail, office and historic buildings; and the creation or preservation of over 60,000 units of housing. In 2018, the CDC closed five investments representing $56.3 million in Cincinnati. It also announced a $5 million investment in the Cincinnati Development Fund to further housing redevelopment in underserved neighborhoods.

Through the years, the CDC has partnered with the Community Development Fund on several projects, including the renovation of the Sanctuary at St. Michael’s complex in Cincinnati’s Lower Price Hill. The renovations involved five historic structures and more than 46,000 square feet of classroom and event space. The renovation helped programs aimed at ending poverty in the community, including: an English language program for immigrants and refugees; Opportunity Hub, a space for residents to connect with jobs, housing and other opportunities; and Community Market, a food pantry.

Also in 2018, the Fifth Third CDC joined with the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing to celebrate the grand opening of the Abington, Race and Pleasant project in Over-the-Rhine. Fifth Third was a tax investor in the historical renovation project, in which five vacant and blighted buildings were turned into affordable housing and commercial space.

CDC in Over the Rhine, Cincinnati

The Fifth Third CDC was able to join with its partners and community members for the ribbon cutting of the Abington, Race and Pleasant project in Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati.

Our Bank, along with the city of Cincinnati and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), announced in 2018 the launch of the Cincinnati Access Fund, a $3.5 million loan fund that will provide access to capital and ongoing support and technical assistance for minority- and women-owned small businesses in Cincinnati. We were proud to provide the Fund’s initial capital of $1.2 million, to underwrite the specialized support services and to make referrals to the Fund.

“I want nothing more than to grow my business,” said Taren Kinebrew, chief executive officer of Sweet Petit Desserts in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. “The Cincinnati Access Fund creates the opportunity to purchase the bakery equipment I need to manage production and expand my business without being at a financial disadvantage. This Fund is important because small businesses like mine often have trouble securing small-scale loans.”

Kathy Lamb-Tyler, owner of In God’s Hands, an early education and childcare center, agreed. “I now have the possibility of developing my business with the Cincinnati Access Fund. This matters not just to me, but to all the people I serve—the kids and their families and our community in Kennedy Heights and beyond.”

Making Houses Homes

We believe homeownership is critical to the stabilization and revitalization of neighborhoods. Cincinnati residents were able to realize the dream of owning their own home with careful planning and assistance from a series of Fifth Third Empower U® sessions offered in partnership with The Cincinnati Herald. These “Owning It” seminars helped prepare potential homebuyers for the mortgage process.

Our Mortgage Loan Officer Robert Norris worked with a potential homeowner who needed to establish a credit score before attempting to buy a house. Robert got her a secured card product to work on her credit and then got her prequalified for a loan using our down payment assistance program. To cover the remaining loan closing costs, he helped the customer set up a savings account. Our DPA program cut her closing costs by half. Likewise, another mortgage loan officer, Natasha Sizemore, was able to get a single mother into a new home with only $188 due at closing, thanks to DPA and a county grant.

Collaborating to Create Opportunities

Our team members met with over 3,000 local residents at 15 eBus tour stops coordinated last year with organizations like Santa Maria Community Services, Hamilton County Community Action Agency and Talbert House. Our eBus also was present at the American Heart Association Expo and Half Marathon in March. During the two-day event, our employee volunteers assisted more than 300 people. Companywide, our eBuses were present at 232 event days and served over 19,000 people in 2018.

We also delivered Fifth Third Finance Academy courses on financial education and entrepreneurship to more than 5,800 students in Cincinnati last year and a student from Anderson High School won a $2,500 Finance Academy scholarship to help finance her college education. Additionally, we offered Young Bankers Club®, Fifth Third Empower U® and SmartPath programs, all financial education courses in our suite of Fifth Third L.I.F.E. programs for kids ages 10 to adults.

2018 Cincinnati Access Fund launch

Small business owners Taren Kinebrew (second from left) and Kathy Lamb-Tyler (second from right) celebrated the launch of the Cincinnati Access Fund with representatives of Fifth Third and Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley (far right). In addition, Fifth Third awarded $5,300 to each business owner.


Community Growth in the Sunshine State

Our presence in Florida dates back to 1991 when we opened our first branch in Naples. Today, our employees serve customers in the state through 153 branches. We have been in Florida through major weather events and the real estate crisis and continue to make strategic investments of time, money and people to improve lives in a state that 24 million people call home.

According to The Florida Scorecard™, metrics important to Florida’s economy compiled by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the number of students in Florida receiving free and reduced lunch is at 60 percent and increasing. And the number of homeless children is just shy of 70,000. These facts make the Fifth Third Summer of Dreams program, an initiative we’ve funded and delivered for more than seven years, critical to the quality of life of Florida kids.

For homeless children, summer break is anything but a vacation. Without the stability of school, thousands of school-aged children make up Florida’s homeless population. They move frequently—living with friends, in shelters, motels, cars… or even on the street. When’s school’s not in session, they lose access to a safe environment, engaging activities, and resources like the free and reduced lunch program, which provides many their only two meals of the day.

To fill this need, Fifth Third partners with Orlando After School All-Stars for Summer of Dreams, a comprehensive 10-week program for K-12 homeless students in Central Florida. Fifth Third invests $45,000 per year for the annual program, which provides two free meals and snacks each day, weekend food packs, enriching academic activities, field trips, tutoring and mentoring, financial empowerment, a backpack of school supplies and more. More than 1,100 students a year participate in the program at 36 sites in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. Over the last seven years, we have supported Summer of Dreams through charitable giving, volunteer service and community partnerships and helped over 9,000 students.

We also made investments that support entrepreneurship and small business growth in Florida. We supported Florida Gulf Coast University’s growth acceleration and new market development initiatives; Prospera, formerly the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund, of Florida’s technical assistance program; University of South Florida Foundation’s Florida Small Business Development Center; and the Urban League of Broward County’s Entrepreneurship Center.

Backpack event in Orlando

Fifth Third Bank, the city of Orlando, and public and private partners filled over 1,100 backpacks with notebooks, pencils, rulers and other school supplies during the eighth annual Summer of Dreams backpack stuffing event. The backpacks will be donated to at-risk students participating in the 10-week Summer of Dreams program. “It’s so important that every child show up to school with the supplies that they need and feel good about the first day of school,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

Making Homes Affordable

We have collaborated with the Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition to increase lowand moderate-income homeownership through a Rental Homeownership program in the state. The program provides high-quality, affordable housing to low- and moderate-income families at reduced rental rates. It then provides homeownership training to the family and enables them to be pre-qualified for a home loan within 24 months. The program produces an affordable rental housing model that provides a viable road to homeownership.

Our DPA program has also made an impact in the state of Florida. Tracy Carter, a mortgage loan officer in central Florida, said her customer, Quinn, had dreamed of homeownership for quite a while despite his young age. Unfortunately, Quinn had only minimal funds for a down payment. Our program reduced his closing costs to just $1,300. “Our DPA program left him with enough money to purchase furnishings for his new home. I’m so proud that, through the DPA program, Fifth Third can give back to the communities that need it most.”

In 2018, the Fifth Third CDC closed two investments in Florida representing $18.9 million. One of those investments was in Los Altos Apartments, the new construction of 100 affordable units for families in unincorporated Osceola County, Florida. Residents will have a community room, computer lab and business center and swimming pool. The project represents our commitment to providing affordable housing in safe neighborhoods and providing for amenities and social services to advance the lives of those who live there.

employees at Second Harvest Food Bank

Fifth Third employees volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank in May last year to help feed the hungry.

volunteers at Salvation Army

Bank employees in Ft. Myers volunteered with the Salvation Army.

Through our Strengthening Our Communities Fund, we made $250,000 in housing-related grants in Florida. The Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF) received $50,000. “The grant will help lead $15 million in direct financing by FCLF,” said Ignacio Esteban, chief executive officer. “Our financing creates decent, safe and affordable housing for low-income residents. We thank Fifth Third for supporting our vision that every person in every community in Florida deserves the opportunity to live with dignity.” We also supported the Central Florida Urban League’s Meet the Bankers program. Meet the Bankers provides homebuyer education and one-on-one financial consultations with prospective homebuyers.

Modeling Change through Service

Fifth Third has an ongoing sponsorship relationship with the Tampa Tarpons minor league baseball team. Each year, the Tarpons host an education day with the Hillsborough County School District in which students and teachers can attend the game for free. We provided Fifth Third Finance Academy lessons between the first and sixth innings of the game to 3,000 students, most of whom receive free or reduced lunch. In addition to those we reached at the Tampa Tarpons game, 22,136 Florida students took Finance Academy courses in 2018.

Employees in Florida also worked hard on Fifth Third Day (5/3 on the calendar) to feed the hungry throughout the state. Together, they volunteered nearly 635 hours by partnering with agencies like the Salvation Army, Second Harvest Food Bank, Feeding Northeast Florida and Lehigh Community Services. In all, the effort helped deliver 101,000 meals across the state.

Expanding Capacity with Leaders

We committed to millions of dollars of impact programming through our Community Commitment. This work is done through partners all across our footprint, organizations that are critical to the health and vitality of communities. As they face new challenges, we see it as our responsibility to invest in them—in their leadership, especially— to accelerate their problem-solving capabilities, innovation and collaboration.

One of the reasons we do this is to support their education. In 2018, nearly 40 housing professionals completed a Rental Housing Development Finance class offered through Fifth Third and the National Development Council (NDC), and received their housing certifications. We were proud to cover all the expenses for the five-day course, which was open to high-performing real estate professionals throughout our core 10-state footprint.

“The chronic shortage of affordable housing nationwide increases the need for well-trained nonprofit developers, but these professionals often lack the resources needed to build their organizational and personal capacity to bring projects to fruition,” said Daniel Marsh, III, president and CEO, National Development Council. “Fifth Third’s support for NDC’s training in Cincinnati and Detroit helped to bridge this training gap and will pay dividends in the form of increased housing production and quality of life in these deserving communities for decades to come.”

Better Working Together

Over 150 non-profit organizations have received funding and assistance through our Strengthening Our Communities Fund over the past two years, $3 million of which was delivered in 2018. Our fund enables us to positively affect communities through strategic philanthropic partnerships that align with our community impact focus priorities and Community Reinvestment Act objectives. Last year, the fund:

  • Granted $1.2 million to help entrepreneurs grow their business and create jobs.
  • Impacted over 2,000 people through neighborhood revitalization projects.
  • Provided over 8,500 people with workforce development and financial education services.
  • Helped 4,870 people through economic development programs like technical assistance and small business micro-lending.
  • Granted $700,000 to support affordable housing.
  • Funded $1.1 million in financial empowerment programs.
  • Made grant awards to nearly 80 organizations.

Salvation Army red kettle group photo

A team of Columbus employees helped kick off the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign during the holidays in 2018.

Our employees increased the impact of our dollars through their willingness to volunteer in communities and with various nonprofit organizations. In 2018, our employees reported over 145,000 volunteer hours. Our team members helped feed the hungry, turn houses into homes, and walked and ran to raise funds for groups focused on health, the arts and inclusion.

In 2018, the Fifth Third CDC committed $202,417 in funding through a partnership with Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing to provide summer camp opportunities for 320 youth residing in affordable housing developments. The CDC’s funds were used at 10 camps in Akron, Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, as well as Paris, Kentucky. The CDC was proud to invest in these camps because evidence shows that learning loss results in cumulative reversals in academic progress, especially for children from households with low incomes, who relative to their more affluent peers, have less access to summer enrichment opportunities.

Child attending summer camp

Kids were able to attend summer camps thanks, in part, to the Fifth Third CDC.

Fifth Third Foundation

Founded in 1948, the Fifth Third Foundation was one of the first corporate philanthropic foundations established by a financial institution. In 2018, the Foundation awarded $12.1 million in grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, civic and community, and health and human services.

The Foundation made a $250,000 grant to the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Foundation to support the return of a city-wide arts showcase, Blink, to Cincinnati in 2019. It made education grants to the Children First Fund for financial education in Chicago Public Schools and to Florida A&M University for a college-aged Finance Academy program. Civic and community grants included $50,000 to the Dayton Metro Library for its Career Adventures Camp and $50,000 to the Anthony Munoz Foundation for Hispanic Character Camp. Health and human services grants included a significant gift to St. Elizabeth Medical Center to help combat the opioid crisis and $50,000 to The Shield, Inc., to support police officers and their families for officers injured, disabled or killed in the line of duty.

Strengthening our communities grant recipients

Strengthening Our Communities grant recipients in Detroit pose with Fifth Third leadership.

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2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

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