Qorus Banking Innovation Awards 2014 - Winner

Fifth Third Bank Homeowner Reemployment

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27/08/2014 Banking Innovation

About

Homeowner Reemployment at Fifth Third Bank is an industry-first program that helps its customers find jobs and stay in their homes.

Innovation presentation

Following the 2008 recession, the banking industry experienced a marked rise in foreclosures. Every foreclosure is a tragedy for all involved, including the homeowner, the bank and the community. Understanding that the industry’s solution to this problem – loan modifications – was incomplete, Fifth Third sought a different path. As the reason for up to half of mortgage delinquencies is job loss, Fifth Third designed a Homeowner Reemployment programme that solved that fundamental issue. Fifth Third partnered with NextJob, a reemployment solutions company, to sponsor its customers through comprehensive job training that included one-on-one job coaching, online job search and training modules, and weekly coach-led webinars. The training helped participants turn their CVs into marketing tools, discover the hidden job market, harness the power of social media and develop their ‘30-second commercial’.

Fifth Third Bank was the first bank to launch this programme and waived its right to programme exclusivity to help the US develop a strategy where banks help to tackle unemployment, especially long-term unemployment, and stem foreclosures. The bank led a substantial marketing and public relations effort to create awareness of the programme. This has led to other financial institutions adopting the programme, including M&T Bank and USAA, while several other large banks are currently considering this approach.

Uniqueness of the project

Helping customers find jobs is not within a bank’s normal remit. Customers are often sceptical about joining the programme when they are first invited, but quickly realise that the bank’s two-fold desire is to help them gain a job so they can regain financial stability quickly and avoid foreclosure.

It’s a disruptive innovation that makes an impact because of how different it is, and how far it extends beyond a bank’s normal scope. The programme supports and boosts Fifth Third Bank’s reputation and aligns with its core values and value proposition. These centre around being the ‘One Bank’ that people value and trust, as well as having a commitment to listening, innovating and helping to improve lives. It is a programme that proves what the bank stands for.

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