How Did Fifth Third Bank Get Its Name?


Quick Answer

The name "Fifth Third Bank" came about as the result of a merger between the Third National Bank and the Fifth National Bank early in the 20th century, according to the modern Fifth Third Bank's official history. The institution as a whole ultimately traces its origin to the Bank of the Ohio Valley, which opened in Cincinnati in 1858.

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Full Answer

The merger that resulted in the Fifth Third Bank was accomplished on June 1, 1908, according to Wikipedia. This was the largest in a series of mergers and reorganizations that had seen what began as the Bank of the Ohio Valley acquired by the Third National Bank in 1871. In the 1908 merger, Third National acted as the senior, or acquiring, partner. Putting the name of the senior merger partner first is a natural decision, but this was felt to be undesirable at the time. The exact reason for the unusual pairing of the banks' names is thought to have something to do with "fifth" being a common measure of alcoholic beverages. A "Third Fifth," in other words, might have unfortunate associations in the mind of the public. Originally, the bank rendered its unique name with a hyphen, "Fifth-Third Bank," but after several modifications, the institution settled on "Fifth Third Bank" in 1969.

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