CINCINNATI–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–Fifth Third Bank and ApplePie Capital announced new details today about their strategic partnership.

“We have always felt that the franchise lending asset class is a perfect fit for banks, and this direct purchase agreement validates our thesis as well as endorses our proprietary credit model and our ability to efficiently source high-quality loans for bank partners.”

The agreement enables Fifth Third to purchase loans originated through ApplePie Capital’s franchise loan marketplace, which provides franchise brands and their franchisees with a diverse range of financing options to efficiently grow their respective businesses. In addition, Fifth Third has also joined ApplePie Capital’s growing SBA lender network, and will receive referrals to SBA loan opportunities.

“We are thrilled to take our relationship with ApplePie Capital to a new level and allow more franchise owners to quickly access the capital they need to grow their business,” said Tim Spence, chief strategy officer of Fifth Third Bank. “Partnering with fintech firms like ApplePie Capital is a central and vital element of Fifth Third’s NorthStar strategy, as illustrated by this agreement.”

This follows the announcement of Fifth Third’s equity investment in the company in October 2016.

“We understand that access to funds is critical to starting or growing a business,” said Kala Gibson, head of Business Banking for Fifth Third. “Because of our partnership with ApplePie Capital, we can extend our reach and deliver the right type of funding – whether a conventional or SBA loan – to help new and established franchise owners realize their dreams in a best-in-class, digital manner.”

ApplePie Capital offers loans across all 50 states for new franchise locations, acquisitions, remodels, equipment, or to refinance or recapitalize existing locations to allow owners to open more stores. Since it started operating in January 2015, ApplePie Capital has formed partnerships with over 60 franchise brands and facilitated financing of more than $ 100 million to franchise entrepreneurs.

“This agreement with Fifth Third represents a significant milestone for ApplePie Capital,” said Denise Thomas, ApplePie Capital CEO and co-founder. “We have always felt that the franchise lending asset class is a perfect fit for banks, and this direct purchase agreement validates our thesis as well as endorses our proprietary credit model and our ability to efficiently source high-quality loans for bank partners.”

The franchise industry is a strong and growing segment of the U.S. economy. According to the International Franchise Association, the industry is composed of nearly 800,000 establishments.

Headquartered in San Francisco, ApplePie Capital’s franchise loan marketplace brings a new economy to franchise financing, enabling single- and multi-unit franchisees to efficiently obtain financing to start or expand their franchise business. ApplePie Capital enables investors to earn attractive fixed-income returns with established high-quality franchise brands. For more information, visit www.applepiecapital.com.

About Fifth Third

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of June 30, 2017, the Company had $ 141 billion in assets and operated 1,157 full-service Banking Centers and 2,461 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth & Asset Management. As of June 30, 2017, Fifth Third also had a 17.7 percent interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2017, had $ 330 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $ 34 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.

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