Message From the President

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    The question I am asked most often these days is, as you might guess, “Is Fifth Third lending money?” The answer is an emphatic yes.

    Our bankers are out meeting with potential customers every day offering a full range of financial products, including loans. In the most recent reporting period Fifth Third Bank announced that it extended $6.1 billion in loans in the month of May.

     

    We continue to make loans to qualified borrowers and have extended nearly $30 billion in loans so far this year. Here are some details of Fifth Third’s lending activity for the month:

    • May continued to be an exceptional month for mortgage lending, with mortgage originations

    for the month totaling $2.5 billion, an increase of approximately

    $240 million compared to April.

    • A total of $105 million of new home equity lines of credit were extended during the month.

    • Other consumer loan originations,

    which included new car loans, were $309 million in May, up slightly from April.

    And the momentum has only picked up steam the past couple of months. Here in Eastern Michigan we are on a record pace in our mortgage division. We are even seeing an uptick in new house lending. Our mortgage originators are using the new government programs as well to help customers buy the house of their dreams. The government programs are especially helpful for homeowners who want to refinance but are concerned about the current value of their house. With rates near historic lows it is a great time to see if you can qualify for a refinance. A fifth Third mortgage originator is an expert in understanding the programs that are out there for customers who want take advantage of these rates. I recommend that you look into this if you want to move from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage.

    Businesses that may be thinking that there is no money available for banks to lend should also be thinking about a visit to their banker. Much like on the consumer side, Fifth Third is aggressively working with our business customers to offer a host of products, including credit, to help fuel the business we so desperately need in our state. Small business in particular is driving the loan activity that we are conducting. The SBA has multiple programs for small businesses. One that is called SBA Express is providing small loans with reduced paperwork to get the money to the business fast.

    Even with all of this activity we are facing difficult times in Eastern Michigan. Many of our customers are experiencing an interruption or loss of income and having a tough time making payments on the loans or credit cards they have. In July we rolled out a program called “You Have Options…Michigan,” an initiative designed for Michigan Fifth Third customers to help modify loans and defer payments without bruising your credit. If you are one of these households please read the column in this Community Connection and contact us to see if we can help. As I said last month, we are in this together. Both in helping to get up off of the mat with Fifth Third lending activity and with reaching out to those in need. You have nothing to lose. Give your local Fifth Third bank a call today and tell us your story. Our professionals are there to serve you.

     

    David F. Girodat

    President, Fifth Third Bank,

    Eastern Michigan

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