Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported Fifth Third Bancorp of Cincinnati ranked at the bottom of the pack in comparison to other publicly-traded banks. Of the twenty-seven members of the banking sector that the Journal rated, Fifth Third posted the worst one-year total return to shareholders at minus 17.3%. It was the bank to post a negative three-year total return at minus 11.3%, and only two other banks had a worse five-year total return.
Clearly once the Feds put the ki-bosh in 2002 on Fifth Third's strategy of hiding its loosey-goosey corporate governance behind a cloud of dust of acquisitions, the financial problems inherent its style of management caught up with the bank. Apparently reality has finally intruded upon the top management of the bank. Last year CEO George Schaeffer shamelessly passed out big bonuses despite the abysmal performance of his top executives. This year, with the threat of takeover looming, there were no bonuses -- just big raises, some topping 15%. Well, I suppose it costs a few bucks to keep people around to fall on their swords later on.
Here are some links to past articles about the big bank from Cincinnati, its acquisition of Old Kent Bank, and the corruption that flowed from that deal:
FIFTH THIRD CFO TAKES THE FALL - Why Fifth Third's new CFO isn't responsible for Schaeffer's mismanagement of the bank.
A BANK JOB, INDEED - The chain of events that followed from our report to the feds on the shenanigans involved in Fifth Third's acquisition of Old Kent.
DID FIFTH THIRD ABET ILLEGAL DUMPING SCHEME? - How Fifth Third/Old Kent cooperated with its development company to facilitate the illegal removal of contaminated soil from an urban brownfield.
THE FIXER, PART IV (PYRAMID DUST) - The background on how Old Kent got sold out to Fifth Third on the cheap.
All of our stories on Fifth Third can be found under the category "Banks". If you have any news for us regarding Fifth Third, feel free to post comments to the relevant article or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.