Banking & Finance and Human Resources

Bank raising minimum wage to $18 an hour

August 7, 2019
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Fifth Third Center
Fifth Third had $169 billion in assets as of June 30, 2019. Courtesy Fifth Third Bank

A bank with a large West Michigan presence is raising its minimum hourly wage for the second time in two years.

Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank said yesterday it will raise its minimum wage to $18 per hour for about 4,900 employees beginning Oct. 28.

The increase “recognizes the contributions of employees in driving not only the bank’s success, but also the success of its customers,” according to Fifth Third.

“We’re pleased to invest in the people who, every day, deliver banking that is a Fifth Third better,” said Greg Carmichael, chair, president and CEO, Fifth Third.

“A competitive compensation and benefits package is essential to our ability to attract and retain the industry’s best and brightest. It is that talent that differentiates Fifth Third and enables us to serve our customers with distinction.”

With this increase, Fifth Third will have raised its minimum hourly wage by 50% over the past two years.

In January 2018, the bank raised its minimum hourly rate from $12 to $15. That increase contributed to a 16% year-over-year reduction in employee turnover in 2018 in those jobs most affected by the minimum wage, the bank said.

The new $18 minimum hourly wage will primarily benefit employees in retail branches and operations support functions, such as customer contact centers.

The increase will not apply to employees who work on a commissioned basis, whose earnings are typically above the new minimum wage.

For full-time employees currently making $15 an hour, the increase will amount to roughly $500 more per month on a pre-tax basis.

It represents an annualized investment of about $15 million in the bank’s employees.

“This wage increase will make a meaningful difference in the lives of our employees,” said Bob Shaffer, chief human resources officer.

“It could ease a car payment, facilitate a student loan payment or signal the start of a savings plan for the future. Moreover, the increase — combined with other benefits such as the maternity concierge program, parental bonding leave and a robust health and financial wellness program — enables Fifth Third to be an employer of choice.

“That’s a differentiator that pays off for customers as they benefit from the experience, talent and engagement of a committed workforce.”

Fifth Third

Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) is a diversified financial services company and the parent company of Fifth Third Bank, established in 1858.

It offers commercial banking, branch banking, consumer lending and wealth and asset management services.

The bank operates 1,207 full-service banking centers and 2,551 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina.

Fifth Third Bank reported $169 billion in assets as of June 30.

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