Northampton, MA –News Direct – Fifth Third Bancorp
The more individuals, families and small businesses are empowered to live their best, the more communities will prosper. Fifth Third Bank wants to help people reach their full potential. We believe this will have a long-term, generational impact in the neighborhoods, towns and cities we serve, especially among low- and moderate-income Americans, by reversing negative cycles and laying a solid foundation for the future. .
We strive to provide comprehensive and innovative solutions to the challenges facing people who live in the communities we serve. We are addressing low homeownership rates in underserved communities, limited access to capital for small businesses looking to start or grow, and a gap in financial education and development of the work force.
We are committed to small businesses because we know they are essential to strong, economically vibrant communities. Our direct support for small businesses includes loans and lines of credit as well as service products.
We are a US Small Business Administration Preferred Lender that offers our clients several types of SBA loans including 7 (a), Express, and 504 loans. SBA loans generally have larger loan amounts and repayment options. flexible than traditional loans, which usually results in lower monthly payments. SBA loans are used for working capital, equipment financing and commercial real estate, and everything in between.
In 2020, Fifth Third added to its national SBA team, including eight full-time staff in the fourth quarter, to support our SBA lending and processing capabilities. The investment is part of the Bank’s goal to become a leader in providing SBA loan products. Fifth Third has also invested in technology to help process loans in our commercial and retail channels.
We anticipate increased loan volumes as our investments in digital technology and people allow us to collaborate with more small businesses to help them grow their operations. We also actively develop SBA partnership loans through relationships with community development financial institutions and community development corporations.
To become a leader in providing SBA loan products, Fifth Third has increased the staff of its national SBA team in 2020 to support our SBA loan and processing capabilities. Preferred Lender US SBA
Support for small businesses in the event of a pandemic
Meeting the needs of small businesses during the pandemic was critical for Fifth Third Bank in 2020. We had a No.53 Small Business Administration ranking before the pandemic, and yet we became the 13th best lender in the Check Protection Program. payroll in 2020. It was a testament to our commitment to helping our existing clients secure the necessary financing and provide financial assistance during their most difficult times.
In 2020, we provided $ 5.4 billion in PPP loans to our clients, 85% of which was for loans under $ 150,000. Ninety-five percent of businesses that received loans had fewer than 50 employees.
As part of our response to COVID-19 small business loans, we reached out to our clients for hardship support, advice on hardship requests, and loan modifications. We have provided payment deferrals for up to 90 days, removing late fees and providing loan modification options for small businesses in need. We have also waived certain charges for 90 days on deposit accounts and business banking services.
Additionally, we have worked with the SBA to ensure that SBA qualified 7 (a) and Express Loans borrowers can participate in the loan payment relief program. The SBA is committed to making monthly payments on its behalf for six months.
Coaching and technical assistance
In addition to loans, we also attach great importance to helping clients navigate the small business ecosystem, which can be complex and difficult, especially for businesses owned by black people, women and other minorities. . We know that resources beyond Fifth Third are available and consider it our duty to help them access those resources.
One of the most visible ways of doing this is by supporting community development finance institutions. CDFIs are private financial institutions committed to providing responsible and affordable capital to those who may not be able to use traditional banking products or resources. CDFIs are often able to help small businesses take a new step in their growth and development by providing them with commercial support and technical assistance.
We support CDFIs by providing capital to these organizations and working hand in hand with them in the communities we serve. We have strong partnerships with representative CDFIs in the majority of the markets in which we operate, including Accion, a global non-profit organization dedicated to helping small businesses.
In 2020, Accion received COVID-19 funding from the Fifth Third Foundation and the Fifth Third Chicagoland Foundation and the Bank partnered with the organization to reach 2,128 small business owners via a series of educational webinars in May. and June. You will find more information on these partnerships on pages 106 and 107 of this report.
We also developed Fifth Third Fast Capital, a new digital lending platform designed to help small businesses quickly access the capital they need. Phase 1 of the product launched just before the COVID-19 pandemic and provided unsecured loans of $ 100,000 or less. The next generation of the product is expected to include robust mobile and digital capabilities. We are deeply committed to serving small businesses through our development and the use of improved technologies.
Access to capital funds
Fifth Third invests significantly in access to capital funds throughout its footprint. These funds, such as the Entrepreneurs of Color funds in Detroit and Chicago, are designed as new sources of capital for businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color and businesses that primarily hire people of color. More information on our work with these funds, including the businesses they support, can be found on page 106.
For more information on Fifth Third Bank’s efforts to improve financial inclusion in the communities it serves, go to Bancorp’s fifth third ESG 2020 report.
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