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April 21 2015

Operation HOPE Collaborates with Fifth Third Bank and City of Detroit through Bank On Detroit to Open the First HOPE Inside Location in the State of Michigan

Financial empowerment location will offer credit counseling and entrepreneurial training to help boost Mayor Duggan’s commitment to create opportunities for residents of the Motor City

DETROIT, MI – April 21, 2015 – Financial empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE (HOPE),  Fifth Third Bank, and the City of Detroit through Bank On Detroit have collaborated to open the first HOPE Inside location in Michigan. To commemorate the occasion, HOPE will host a grand opening celebration at 9AM on Tuesday, April 28 at the Fifth Third Bank financial center located in the Northwest Activities Center at 18100 Meyers Road in Detroit. Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit, will participate in the festivities and provide a keynote address.

HOPE is a nonprofit organization that enhances financial literacy by providing credit and home ownership counseling, entrepreneur training and money management workshops. HOPE’s services are free to the public and it works with financial institutions and other nonprofit organizations to empower its clients to take control of their finances and encourage entrepreneurship.

“Operation HOPE is here as an answer to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s call to create more opportunities and empowerment for the residents of Detroit,” said HOPE Founder and best-selling author John Hope Bryant.  “Our collaboration with Fifth Third Bank and Bank on Detroit is a natural fit, given our collective interest in helping individuals and families in unbanked and underbanked communities to develop and thrive.”

Through Fifth Third Bank, HOPE Inside will offer a dedicated financial literacy counselor to deliver workshops and one-on-one client support at no charge. Residents can enroll in credit and money management workshops and/or one-on-one counseling services to learn how to improve their financial profile, budgeting, reading a credit score, and their rights as consumers. The location will also provide a course in entrepreneurial training, which gives budding small business owners and entrepreneur’s simple, practical information such as, evaluating feasibility, selecting a business name, conducting market research, advertising, securing startup money, types of distribution channels, and where to access capital.

Fifth Third Bank Eastern Michigan Senior Vice President and Community and Economic Development Director Byna Elliott described the collaboration between her bank, HOPE and Bank On Detroit as ideal because they share a common mission of financial empowerment.

Given the fact that all organizations share a mission of improving financial literacy in underserved areas, we are strategically aligned to create a significant impact in northwest Detroit,” Elliott said. “By uniting our core competencies, we are in a position to improve communities by helping thousands of individuals take control of their financial lives by improving their credit scores and developing a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

Fifth Third Bank has a rich legacy of community support. In 1948, it became the first financial institution in the United States to establish a charitable foundation. For over 150 years, Fifth Third Bank has been providing quality financial products and services to its customers. Based on its rich history of performance and customer service, the Bank has received numerous accolades for the way it operates over 1,300 locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina.

Fifth Third Bank’s involvement with HOPE is part of its 5/3 in the D initiative, which is an $85 million commitment to Detroit. It includes moving its headquarters to the historic One Woodward Building. Other components involve charitable donations, marketing sponsorships, small business lending, Community Development Corporation tax credit investments and economic impact contributions over the next five years. The adoption of Hart Plaza and returning it to its past glory as one of Detroit’s foremost public gathering spaces is another highlight of 5/3 in the D.

Bank On Detroit is a coalition founded by the City of Detroit, in partnership with the Detroit Alliance for Fair Banking, the United Way of Southeast Michigan, financial institutions, community-based organizations, the Alliance for Economic Inclusion Southeast Michigan and other partners focused on enhancing the economic well-being of unbanked and underserved populations in the City of Detroit. It collaborates to improve access to U.S. regulated financial institutions for low- and moderate-income individuals and families, people of color and immigrant communities.

HOPE Inside is part of HOPE’s national mission to empower the underserved, Project 5117, an initiative that aims to empower communities, by helping move credit scores above 700, promoting homeownership, and encouraging entrepreneurship in schools for youth or through entrepreneurial training for adults.  

Currently, the organization operates 23 HOPE Inside locations in partnership with bank and government partners. Operation HOPE is rated a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator and has been moving America from Civil Rights to “Silver Rights” since 1992.  Providing financial and economic empowerment tools and services, has earned it the distinction as the nonprofit private banker for the working poor.  Through its core programs, HOPE has provided financial dignity and economic empowerment to over 2.2 million individuals worldwide, turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners and minimum wage workers into living wage consumers.

The public is invited to join Mayor Duggan, along with an influential slate of speakers to learn more the new HOPE Inside location and its services. Registration is encouraged at (313) 515-1706.

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About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Since its founding in 1992, Operation HOPE's mission has been to promote "silver rights" and make free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved. The social investment banking nonprofit has provided financial literacy and economic empowerment services to more than 2.2 million people, raised nearly $2 billion in economic activity for the disenfranchised. Follow Operation HOPE at www.operationhope.org, on twitter.com/operationhope, and facebook.com/operationhope. 

 About Fifth Third Bank (Eastern Michigan)

Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan, is based in Southfield, Michigan and led by President David F. Girodat.  Fifth Third Bank is metropolitan Detroit’s fourth largest bank and has $4.2 billion in assets. Fifth Third Bank serves customers in eight southeastern Michigan counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Shiawassee, Livingston, Genesee and Washtenaw.  Fifth Third Bank currently operates 91 banking centers, and more than 150 ATMs throughout eastern Michigan. Fifth Third Bank is proud to be named as one of the “101 Best & Brightest Place to Work” by the Michigan Business and Professional Association and a Top Place to Work” by the Detroit Free Press.

About Fifth Third Bancorp

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of December 31, 2014, the Company had $139 billion in assets and operated 15 affiliates with 1,302 full-service Banking Centers, including 101 Bank Mart® locations, most open seven days a week, inside select grocery stores and 2,638 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third also has a 22.8% interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of December 31, 2014, had $308 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $27 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858.

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