CINCINNATI – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Fifth Third Community Development Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Fifth Third Bancorp, has announced that it is investing an additional $ 2.5 million in Detroit-based First Independence Bank. The move makes Fifth Third the largest investor with a total of $ 5.5 million in the minority depository institution and the community development finance institution (CDFI).
“CDFIs are essential to creating and preserving wealth in minority communities,” said Kala Gibson, corporate banking manager at Fifth Third Bank and head of corporate social responsibility. “It is imperative that large financial services institutions support these organizations to ensure their viability and longevity. ”
“We are proud to strengthen our partnership with Fifth Third Bank with this additional investment. The confidence shown in First Independence Bank will allow us, as a minority deposit-taking institution, to further strengthen the communities we have served for more than 51 years, ”said Kenneth Kelly, President and CEO of First Independence Bank. “The courage of the Fifth Third management team to increase their investment in First Independence Bank is the epitome of talking about inclusion and demonstrating inclusion in a tangible way. ”
According to the FDIC definition, a minority depository institution can be a federal insured depository institution in which at least 51% of the voting shares are held by persons belonging to minorities; or a majority of the board of directors is in the minority and the community that the institution serves is in the majority in the minority. Property must be owned by US citizens or permanent and legal residents of the United States to be considered in determining minority ownership.
Fifth Third is the principal correspondent bank of First Independence Bank, operated by the Fifth Third Financial Institutions Group, which provides correspondent banking and cash management services to financial institutions of all sizes. As part of this latest investment, which follows a $ 3 million investment made in 2008, Fifth Third also intends to support First Independence Bank by participating in loans and coordinating financial training for clients of First Independence Bank.
“This deal has the potential to create income producing assets up to 10 times the amount of the investment, meaning Fifth Third’s investment could result in over $ 50 million in new loans being made. for existing and new relationships, consumers and businesses. ”said Keith Burgess, senior vice president and group leader of loans and investments for community development.“ First Independence Bank could use the proceeds to invest in staff , technology and physical assets that will provide a better banking experience for its customers. ”
When well-established financial firms like Fifth Third invest in minority depositories, jobs are preserved in minority communities, which helps support the economy. Due to their trustworthy reputation, minority depositories play an important role in bridging the wealth gap by being effective in serving underserved and underbanked communities. They also tend to invest a significant amount of their deposits in community development assets compared to traditional financial institutions. These community investments support affordable housing, support small businesses, stabilize communities and meet the financial needs of people wherever they are.
Fifth Third’s recent investment is part of the Bank’s $ 2.8 billion Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion Acceleration Initiative that was launched in 2020 with particular focus on the Bank’s Black employees, customers and communities. The money aligns directly with the community workflow of the AREEI strategy and becomes another channel for Fifth Third to show support for minority communities. It also demonstrates the Bank’s commitment to doing the work that is part of the REACh project, an initiative launched by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to strengthen minority depositories and remove barriers to financial inclusion.
“First Independence Bank recognizes the mutual benefits of partnering with Fifth Third and its AREEI strategy,” said Dimitrius M. Hutcherson, executive vice president, chief executive officer and chief technology officer at First Independence Bank. “His investment will allow us to expand and develop our branch services and capabilities to better and more broadly serve our clients in areas such as financial investment education, home ownership pathways, loans. small business and investing for individuals and families. ”
About the fifth third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of March 31, 2021, Fifth Third had $ 207 billion in assets and operated 1,098 full-service banking centers and 2,383 ATMs under the Fifth Third brand in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, l ‘Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, the North. Carolina and South Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest fund managers in the Midwest and, as of March 31, 2021, had $ 464 billion in assets under watch, including $ 58 billion for individuals, corporations and nonprofits by the through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory Firms. Investor information and press releases can be found at www.53.com. Fifth Third common stock is listed on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB”. The Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and credit products are offered by the Fifth Third Bank, National Association. FDIC member.
About First Independence Bank
First Independence Bank is the seventh African-American-controlled commercial bank in the United States. It offers a variety of high quality banking services, from account management to personal loans, mortgages, consumer education and investments. First Independence Bank has three locations and offers online and digital banking solutions through its mobile app. Founded in 1970, the bank continues to be a responsible leader, effectively serving the financial needs of its community, businesses and customers nationwide. First Independence Bank is a member of the FDIC and Equal Housing Lender. For more information visit firstindependence.com.