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    Strack & Van Till Stores to Get Fifth Third Bank Branches

    HIGHLAND, Ind. -- Strack & Van Til here has struck a deal that will see Fifth Third Bank Chicago open branches over the next three months in the grocer's Chicago-area locations.

    HIGHLAND, Ind. -- Strack & Van Til here has struck a deal that will see Fifth Third Bank Chicago open branches over the next three months in the grocer's Chicago-area locations.

    The bank branches will open in eight Strack & Van Til's Ultra Foods units and in two of the grocer’s locations in Chicago and its suburbs, Northwest Indiana, and Kankakee, Ill.

    The partners said they expect all 10 of the Fifth Third branches to open in the stores by the end of January.

    A Fifth Third Bank Chicago executive said the financial institution, which has 162 free-standing branches in the Chicago area, has been in search of a grocery partner that did not already have a partnership with a competing bank. The Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank has more than 100 branches in Ohio grocery stores.

    “The reason we haven’t gotten into Chicago (until now) is because of opportunity,” he said. “We hope to grow with (Ultra Foods’) growth,” Johnathan Choe, Fifth Third’s e.v.p. of retail banking was quoted as saying in press reports.

    Choe said he likes grocery store branches because of the cost savings and access to consumers who may more easily become new customers for the bank.

    “I’d like to do a lot of these mainly because the value proposition is so great,” he said, noting that supermarket branches “strengthen our network.”

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