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Published: Saturday, 5/31/2008

Fifth Third offers discounts for military personnel, families

BY TED FACKLER
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

U.S. military personnel and their families received special treatment at Fifth Third Bank branches nationwide yesterday, with benefits that include higher certificate of deposit savings rates and lower loan rates.

Military members and families also will have free usage of automated teller machines at Fifth Third and non-Fifth Third locations.

"From time to time we've had [special] programs for other organizations, but this is the biggest in terms of number of people eligible for these types of discounts," said Jim Cross, the bank's product development manager. It estimates more than 30 million people are eligible in the communities which have Fifth Third branches.

"This is a way of recognizing these folks for the service they give our country," he added.

The program is available to active duty, retired, reserve and guard, veterans, and immediate family members, Fifth Third said.

Other Toledo area banks, such as Huntington National, National City, Key, and Charter One, do not offer a similar package. They and Fifth Third participate in lower-cost Veterans Affairs mortgages.

Among the benefits of the Fifth Third program, CD saving rates are 0.25 points higher than available to other people. Current rates for the public include 2.85 percent for a nine-month CD with a $5,000 deposit. Loan rates in the program are 0.5 points lower than those for the public.

Under federal law, all financial institutions offer military members reduced preservice loans to 6 percent, provide home-eviction protection, and allow termination of property and car leases, among other benefits.

Contact Ted Fackler at:

tfackler@theblade.com

or 419-724-6199.



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