Jump to Content
ABA: The American Bankers Association
Skip Section Navigation

Financial Empowerment Mobile Strategy

Fifth Third Bank - Cincinnati, Ohio

2020 Community Commitment Awards Submission

  • Entry Category: Economic Inclusion
  • Asset Size: Large

Fifth Third's Financial Empowerment Mobile (FEM) Strategy began in 2004. The concept was to reach the underserved in low- and moderate-income and/or high minority communities who did not have access to quality financial products and services, nor to professional education or advice, which limited their ability to achieve financial goals: getting out of debt, improving their credit score and owning their own home among them. The strategy began with the Financial Empowerment Mobile, or eBus, a city bus retrofitted with Internet connectivity and mobile workstations, that would bring Fifth Third bankers into these communities to bring inclusive access to vital economic resources, including one-on-one credit counseling, homeownership preparation workshops and savings account openings. The first eBus “tour” was in 2004. The eBus visited local nonprofit organizations and community events in the Bank's footprint states, which were primarily Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Illinois, Florida until 2011 when demand required the commissioning of a second bus with which we could double the impact. Recently, the eBus morphed into a new, larger designed truck bed that has additional space for workshops and classrooms, including job search training services. In 2019, we took the FEM strategy further—to the creation of Banking to Go, a new popup financial center that provides the same services as the eBus but allows us to meet people where they are like the NAACP National Convention.