Financial services company Fifth Third Bank, National Association announced today a new investment commitment of $2.8 billion as part of its Executive Diversity Leadership Council’s Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative. The bank aims to provide $2.2 billion in lending, $500 million in investments, $60 million in financial accessibility and $40 million in philanthropy over three years through the new program.
According to Fifth Third Bank, the initiative will focus on three constituents – employees, customers and communities – with a specific emphasis within each vertical on accelerating the bank’s progress toward an equitable environment for Black Americans.
Greg Carmichael, Chairman and CEO, said:
“As we continue to make meaningful strides in advancing inclusion and diversity in our industry and in our communities, Fifth Third is committed to maintaining and extending its leadership and making a difference for our Black customers, communities and employees. The dedicated investment, philanthropy and lending efforts will help accelerate our progress toward promoting equality, equity and inclusion, both within the Bank and in our communities, launching with a $2.8 billion commitment.”
The bank stated that the initiative will be focused on four strategic pillars including Strategic Investments, Access to Capital, Financial Inclusion and Education, and Social Justice and Advocacy. Strategic Investments will include engagements in comprehensive neighborhood revitalization to help improve outcomes and quality of life indicators for communities of color that have experienced decades of disinvestment. Through Access to Capital, the bank expects to expand access to home loans and business capital, increasing mortgage lending with a focus on achieving parity in its top eight markets where Black Americans reside. The Financial Inclusion and Education pillar will see the bank provide wider access to business and consumer loans, expand accessible tools for financial education and develop innovative banking solutions for the unbanked and underbanked, and growing its branch network in in majority-minority tracts and low-and-moderate income communities. Social Justice and Advocacy initiatives will include investing and partnering with organizations that actively engage and support laws and policies that address systemic racism, create improvements in worker re-entry and improve economic mobility and skill-based training.
Kala Gibson, Chief Enterprise Responsibility Officer and head of Business Banking, said:
“It is important that we collaborate with our external and internal stakeholders so that we can serve them in the most effective, impactful and sustainable ways. We will continue to review policies and practices to evaluate where comprehensive improvements can be made so that the Bank’s employees, customers and communities are fully supported.”
Stephanie Smith, Fifth Third’s Senior Vice President and Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, added:
“We have a responsibility to establish a more equitable workplace, particularly for our Black employees, customers, community members and suppliers,” she said. “While these challenging issues won’t be solved overnight, we are continuing the efforts toward actionable change and we are committed to be a force of advancement.”