Fifth Third To Consolidate Or Sell 100 Branches

By Tomi KilgoreMarketWatch Pulse

Fifth Third Bancorp said on Monday that it expects to consolidate or sell about 100 branches and 30 other properties as part of its plan to improve efficiency and competitiveness. As a result, the financial services company said it expects to incur an impairment charge of $75 million to $85 million in the second quarter, and to recognize other costs of about $6 million to $10 million. Fifth Third expects the plan, which should be completed by mid-2016, to produce annual costs savings of $60 million. "Consumer demographics and our customers' preferred channels of banking are undergoing significant changes," said Chief Executive Kevin Kabat. "Technology continues to impact our service delivery and revenue generation tactics and strategies." The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has gained 3.3% year to date while the S&P 500 has advanced 2.5%.

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