Fifth Third is making changes aimed at accelerating SMBs’ access to its lines of credit.
The bank announced Friday (July 7) that it will provide small business borrowers with access to their lines of credit within three to five days.
“At Fifth Third, we recognize there are situations that arise when a small business owner needs access to funds quickly in order to keep their business running,” said Fifth Third Bank’s head of business banking, Kala Gibson, in a statement. “We want to make sure we can help our customers when the need arises; not a month from when the need occurs.”
The bank said its lines of credit are helpful for small businesses to access capital for “everyday operating expenses, equipment and inventory costs.”
Fifth Third has made several moves to position itself in front of SME customers. Earlier this year the bank inked a partnership with nonprofit lender Accion to facilitate financing to businesses across five states, and according to the FI, supplements its existing initiatives to finance SMEs via its $30-billion Community Commitment initiative, which includes $10 billion for small business lending.
The partnership with Accion also looks to provide small nonprofits with cash flow management and credit education to borrowers.
“Small businesses create two out of every three jobs in the United States,” said Byna Elliott, senior vice president and director of community and economic development for Fifth Third, in a statement last April. “They are essential to economic growth and development. This partnership with Accion allow us both to provide the needed resources to help small businesses increase capacity and spur job creation, resulting in stronger communities throughout the country.”
An earlier report by Fifth Third found that although small businesses are often struggling with cash flow, they aren’t always working with local resources; 81 percent of SME surveyed by the bank said they have not worked with existing community resources, like their local chambers of commerce. Instead, entrepreneurs prefer to turn to their peers for help.