Fifth Third Bancorp and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition signed a five year $30 billion community development plan Friday that will expand the banks current $27.5 billion community investment commitment. The plan will cover community initiatives in all ten states that Fifth Third Bank serves including Michigan.
The following Michigan organizations signed the agreement along with the NCRC and Fifth Third Bank:
* Bridging Communities, Inc., Detroit, Michigan
* Financial Justice Coalition of SE Michigan, Detroit, Michigan
* Michigan Community Reinvestment Coalition, Lansing, Michigan
* Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO), Detroit, Michigan
* Southwest Economic Solutions, Detroit, Michigan
* U SNAP BAC Non Profit Housing Corporation, Detroit, Michigan
Fifth Third Bancorp President & CEO Greg D. Carmichael, said, “Fifth Third is deeply committed to both investing significant resources into the community as well as engaging community members and leaders. Our objective is to ensure that, together with the NCRC, we meaningfully impact the communities we serve. We appreciate and value the collaboration with John Taylor and all the NCRC member organizations who met with us to enable the expansion of our original commitment in ways that will best improve lives.”
The catalyst for the plan, NCRC President & CEO John Taylor said, came from a series of meetings with Fifth Third and over 200 community organizations.
“This substantive and detailed community development plan was the result of a collaborative process with community members and bank leaders,” Taylor said.
“We applaud President & CEO Greg Carmichael and the senior leadership of Fifth Third, who after putting out a significant community commitment earlier in the year, was willing and eager to deeply engage NCRC and its member organizations in significant discussions to ensure the commitments made were in areas of the greatest community need and put in place rigorous accountability for their bank and the communities they serve.”
The $30 billion investment, the largest made by a bank in recent history, is divided into the following different areas of focus: mortgage lending, small business lending and the community reinvestment act/community development lending.
Under the mortgage lending category, $11 billion will be spent “to address community needs, and includes a Second Look Program, down payment assistance, support for housing counseling, and other activities, including affirmative marketing and outreach, evaluation and improvement of its Fair Housing/Lending program, and the continuation of its current policy of not imposing minimum loan amounts,” Fifth Third said.
Small businesses under the plan will see a $10 billion investment in businesses that have annual revenues of less than one million.
The remaining $9 billion will be allocated to community reinvestment act/community development lending which consists of mortgage lending, small business lending, including micro-lending, community development lending and investing.
In addition, $158 million has been allotted to Fifth Third Impact Programming, such as financial services, branch openings, marketing and research, product development and cooperative public policy advocacy for low and moderate-income communities. Fifth Third said it “will make housing-related investments that address the gap for consumers who need down payment assistance to achieve home ownership, support housing counseling and financial literacy to help families and individuals achieve their long-term financial goals, and help fund housing loan pools for minor home repairs or gap financing to support neighborhood revitalization.”
Fifth Third’s Impact Programming also includes a commitment to diversity and inclusion with Fifth Third’s Inclusion and Diversity plan “to ensure that its [the bank] human capital is inclusive and diverse. The Bank will increase its efforts to support diverse suppliers, minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses.”
With branch and staffing commitments made under the banks Impact Programming, the bank plans to open at least 10 branches in low and or moderate-income communities.
Fifth Third’s Lives Improved through Financial Empowerment programs were created to educate consumers of all ages and stages of life with financial education. L.I.F.E. includes programs for children and teens, with the Fifth Third Bank Young Bankers Club, and adult financial education courses through the Fifth Third Bank Empower U. The bank’s Financial Empowerment Mobiles, or eBuses, deliver financial education, job training, tax preparation and other assistance for low and moderate-income communities individually and in partnership with local community organizations also fall under the L.I.F.E. program.
“It’s a new day. It’s not the antebellum southern bank I visited 15 years ago,” Taylor said. “This bank is clearly recognizing not only its responsibility, but its commitment
to serve under-served communities.”