Fifth Third is latest bank to raise its minimum wage

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Fifth Third Bancorp is joining other big U.S. banks in raising its minimum wage. The Cincinnati company will pay workers at least $18 per hour beginning Oct. 28.

The investment in additional compensation, which amounts to an extra $15 million a year, will help Fifth Third attract and retain the industry’s brightest talents, CEO Greg D. Carmichael said Tuesday in a news release announcing the move.

Bank of America said in April that it would raise its minimum wage to $20 by 2021 from $15. In 2016, JPMorgan Chase increased its lowest pay from $10.15 to as much as $16.50.

Fifth Third had already raised its minimum hourly wage 50% in the last two years. It was able to reduce year-over-year employee turnover by 16% when it increased the minimum hourly rate from $12 to $15 in January 2018, according to the news release.

The new $18 hourly rate will primarily benefit the 4,900 employees who work in retail branches and operational support functions. For full-time employees who currently earn $15 an hour, the increase will bring an additional $500 pretax income per month, the release said.

Fifth Third’s wage hike, along with other benefits such as parental-bonding leave and a health wellness program, allows the company not only to reward the contributions of employees, but also to deliver better customer service, says Bob Shaffer, chief human resources officer of Fifth Third.

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

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