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Fifth Third Bank Opens Central Valley Commercial Banking Office

CINCINNATI, June 13, 2024--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fifth Third has announced the opening of its sixth commercial banking office in California with a new location in Bakersfield. The expansion exemplifies the Bank's continued investment in the California market. Located in the Central Valley, the office covers Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Tulare counties and is staffed by a locally based team with a longstanding history with the region.

Part of the California community since 2012, Fifth Third opened four offices over a three-year time span: Orange County in 2018, Los Angeles and Inland Empire in 2019 and San Francisco in 2020. In 2023, the Bank opened its fifth commercial banking office in California with a new location in San Diego. The Central Valley office continues Fifth Third’s expanding footprint and commitment in California.

"After successfully launching our Southern California commercial presence, we have secured a team of bankers who have decades of local experience in the Central Valley," said Joe Yurosek, western markets regional president. "We know that relationships matter, so we find the best local talent to expand into new geographies."

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Fifth Third’s Bakersfield office is currently managed by a team of three with a combined 71 years of commercial banking experience.

Geraud Smith joins the Bank as a Senior Commercial Banker and Central Valley Market Executive. Smith was President and CEO of the recently combined Valley Republic and Tri Counties Banks, and prior to this, he spent more than 20 years with Wells Fargo, most recently as their Central Valley regional leader.

Don Unruh, senior vice president and commercial relationship manager, has worked in Bakersfield for more than 20 years. He most recently worked at BMO in Bakersfield as a Managing Director with a focus on the food and agribusiness practice. Prior to BMO, Unruh spent 12 years with Wells Fargo in the Central Valley, including seven in a leadership role.

Sarah Watkins, senior vice president and commercial relationship manager, is a California native and has been working in Bakersfield for more than a decade. Watkins comes from US Bank where she covered middle market C&I along with a specialty in middle market agriculture services. Prior to this, Watkins worked at the combined Tri Counties/Valley Republic Bank and Wells Fargo in the Central Valley.

"With our 165 years of serving middle market companies, our new team will provide credit, deposit products, treasury management, asset-based lending, business credit and equipment financing," added Yurosek.

About Fifth Third

Fifth Third is a bank that’s as long on innovation as it is on history. Since 1858, we’ve been helping individuals, families, businesses and communities grow through smart financial services that improve lives. Our list of firsts is extensive, and it’s one that continues to expand as we explore the intersection of tech-driven innovation, dedicated people and focused community impact. Fifth Third is one of the few U.S.-based banks to have been named among Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies® for several years. With a commitment to taking care of our customers, employees, communities and shareholders, our goal is not only to be the nation’s highest performing regional bank, but to be the bank people most value and trust.

Fifth Third Bank, National Association is a federally chartered institution. Fifth Third Bancorp is the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, and its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240613348747/en/

Contacts

Adrienne Gutbier (Media Relations)
adrienne.gutbier@53.com | 513-534-8038

Matt Curoe (Investor Relations)
matt.curoe@53.com | 513-534-2345