Fifth Third Bancorp in Cincinnati said Thursday that it will spend $27.5 billion over the next five years to provide loans and other financial services to underserved communities in its region.

The initiative is aimed at boosting access to credit for low-income borrowers. The investment could also help Fifth Third reduce its tax liability, the company said.

"Fifth Third is proud to be able to formalize our commitment to the community and do so publicly," Greg Carmichael, who became chief executive of the $141 billion-asset company in November, said in a press release.

The multiyear investment includes $10 billion to support "mortgage credit access," according to the release. It also includes $10 billion for small-business lending — including SBAExpress, a loan program through the Small Business Administration that expedites applications.

Additionally, Fifth Third will provide $6.5 billion in commercial loans, as well as $1 billion to support affordable housing and historic preservation.

The investment includes funding for both down-payment assistance and technical support for entrepreneurs.

Fifth Third operates more than 1,200 branches, primarily in the Midwest and Southeast.

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