Fifth Third Bank has announced a $2.8 billion commitment in support of efforts to advance racial equity, equality, and inclusion.
The three-year commitment includes $2.2 billion in loan capital, $500 million for investments in Fifth Third communities, $60 million for financial accessibility efforts, and $40 million in philanthropic investments through the bank's Executive Diversity Leadership Council's Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative. Investments and grants awarded through the initiative will be focused in four areas: strategic investment in communities of color that have experienced decades of disinvestment, including the establishment of a $100 million Neighborhood Fund; efforts to expand access to capital, with the goal of increasing mortgage lending by 31 percent and achieving parity in the bank's top eight markets; financial inclusion and education, including building a quarter of its new branches in majority-minority tracts and low- and moderate-income communities and investments in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); and social justice and advocacy, with a focus on support for organizations working to address systemic racism and improve economic mobility and skill-based training.
Grants already announced by the bank include $1 million to the National Urban League in support of a workforce development program. The bank also plans to roll out an employee-focused workstream aimed at strengthening its culture of equality, equity, and inclusion.
"We have a responsibility to establish a more equitable workplace, particularly for our Black employees, customers, community members and suppliers," said the bank's senior vice president and chief inclusion and diversity officer, Stephanie Smith. "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."
"There is a critical need for organizations to engage in the work of helping to eliminate the social and economic barriers that negatively impact Black Americans, including job creation and job preparation," said National Urban League president and CEO Marc H. Morial. "We are pleased to collaborate with companies such as Fifth Third as they show their dedication to the journey of financial equity."