Fifth Third Bancorp told investors Thursday that its fourth-quarter income would be roughly $68 million lower than anticipated, before taxes, due to costs related to its sale of Visa Inc. class B shares in 2009.
Fifth Third entered into a swap contract in 2009 in which it is required to make payments to a counter party in the event that the conversion rate on the Visa shares declines. That conversion rate fell in December after Visa deposited nearly $1.6 billion in an escrow account it established to defend itself against a lawsuit in which it and rival MasterCard Inc. are accused of price-fixing and suppressing competition among operators of automated teller machines.
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the $115 billion-asset Fifth Third said that its liability on the swap contract is $54 million, which will be taken against fourth-quarter earnings. As a Visa member, Fifth Third said it also intends to add $14 million to its own litigation reserve fund, which would also affect its quarterly profit.
Fifth Third reported a profit of $373 million in the quarter that ended Sept. 30.