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."
Chief Corporate Community & Economic Development Officer
BY THE NUMBERS
"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.
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.”
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 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 53.com 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
"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
"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."
Chief Diversity & Corporate Responsibility Officer
2017 Corporate Responsibility Report
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