Fifth Third to add branches in Orlando, Chicago, Detroit markets

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Fifth Third Bancorp will open seven branches this week in Orlando, Jacksonville and other cities in Florida, as well as the suburbs of Chicago and Detroit.

Fifth Third already has branch offices in all of those markets and the expansion is part of a broader industry strategy of banks bulking up in faster-growing markets while continuing to shrink their overall branch footprints. The $142 billion-asset bank had roughly 200 fewer branches at March 31 than it did two years earlier, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.

“Our consultative approach allows our staff to identify the needs of our customers and then propose solutions to those needs,” Phil McHugh, head of Fifth Third’s consumer bank, said in a Monday news release. “These centers will offer a full range of banking, home-ownership and retirement-planning services.”

The new branches will be in Orlando, Jacksonville, Sarasota and Bonita Springs, Fla.; Shelby Township, Mich.; and Bridgeview, Ill.

Fifth Third did not provide an estimate of the costs for opening the new branches. The company recently hired a consultant to help it find ways to cut expenses as is boosts investments in technology. Fifth Third’s noninterest expense in the first quarter rose 6% to about $1 billion from a year earlier.

Like many banks, Fifth Third plans to integrate some of its new technology in its new branches, including cardless ATMs and online appointment scheduling.

“We want to give our customers the right balance between digital and personal,” Mike Butera, head of the retail bank, said in the release.

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