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CINCINNATI, Ohio – Fifth Third Bank is raising its minimum wage to $18 per hour.

The Cincinnati-based company announced Tuesday that the raise would begin for about 4,900 employees on Oct. 28.

As for the reason for the raise, the company cites the contributions of employees in driving not only the bank’s success, but also the success of its customers.

The bank says the new hourly rate will primarily benefit employees in retail branches and operations support functions such as customer contact centers. The increase will not apply to employees who work on a commissioned basis, whose earnings are typically above the new minimum wage.

For full-time employees currently making $15 an hour, the increase will amount to roughly $500 more per month on a pre-tax basis. It represents an additional investment, on an annualized basis, of approximately $15 million the bank is making in its employees.

With this increase, Fifth Third says it will have raised its minimum hourly wage by 50% over the past two years.

“This wage increase will make a meaningful difference in the lives of our employees,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Bob Shaffer. “It could ease a car payment, facilitate a student loan payment or signal the start of a savings plan for the future. Moreover, the increase—combined with other benefits such as the maternity concierge program, parental bonding leave, and a robust health and financial wellness program – enables Fifth Third to be an employer of choice. That’s a differentiator that pays off for customers, as they benefit from the experience, talent and engagement of a committed workforce.”