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STERLING HEIGHTS, MI-The opening of a Fifth Third Bank here this week is part of a larger schedule to add more branches for the financial institution, its president says. “We intend to open 14 new banking centers this year and another 14 next year in eastern Michigan,” says Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan president Patrick J. Fehring, Jr. “We are committed to serving our customers better and expanding in this market with new locations.”

Fifth Third says it will invest more than $30 million per year and hire some 400 employees to fuel the expansion plan. The new banking centers will include two locations in Detroit, as well as Ann Arbor, Rochester Hills, Grosse Pointe and Novi. Fifth Third hopes to double its size from 76 locations over the next five years. The new bank in Sterling Heights, on Ryan at 18 Mile Road, is the bank’s third in that Detroit suburb.

Fifth Third bank spokesman Jack Riley tells GlobeSt.com the bank’s plans to add additional locations in Ann Arbor will be something of a new move. “We have a loan center there now, but not branches,” he said. “So we see that as a market with a lot of potential for us.”

“Banking is still a high touch transaction,” says Rhonda Saunders, senior vice president and head of the retail division at Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan. “We need to not only be where our customers live but where they work as well.”

Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan, is based in Southfield and has $6.2 billion in assets and $3.4 billion in deposits.

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