AP Photo/LM Otero, File

This local bank is raising its minimum wage

Fifth Third Bancorp said Tuesday it will raise its minimum wage to $18 an hour for about 4,900 employees beginning Oct. 28.

“We’re pleased to invest in the people who, every day, deliver banking that is a Fifth Third better,” Greg Carmichael, the bank’s chairman, president and chief executive, said in a statement. “A competitive compensation and benefits package is essential to our ability to attract and retain the industry’s best and brightest. It is that talent that differentiates Fifth Third and enables us to serve our customers with distinction.”

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With this increase, the bank says it will have raised its minimum hourly wage by 50 percent over the past two years.

In January 2018, the bank raised its minimum hourly rate from $12 to $15.

“That increase contributed to a 16 percent year-over-year reduction in employee turnover in 2018 in those jobs most affected by the minimum wage,” the bank said in its announcement. “Notably, the new $18 minimum hourly wage will primarily benefit employees in retail branches and operations support functions such as customer contact centers.”

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Fifth Third said the increase will not apply to employees who work on a commissioned basis.

For full-time employees currently making $15 an hour, the increase will amount to roughly $500 more per month on a pre-tax basis.

It represents an additional investment, on an annualized basis, of approximately $15 million the Bank is making in its employees.

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