Hedge funds hurt Fifth Third’s results

Bloomberg- A sharp decline in a Fifth Third Bancorp hedge fund investment led to more than $300 million in charge-offs the bank took in the last two quarters, according to a Bloomberg report.

Cincinnati-based Fifth Third had already said that it took a pretax charge of $144 million in the first quarter and a $177 million charge in last year’s fourth quarter as a result of the declining value in its portfolio of bank-owned life insurance, which it takes out to cover its employees.

Fifth Third (NASDAQ: FITB) said in its first-quarter earnings release that the charge was caused by "further deterioration in the values of the underlying investments of the policy, reflecting widening credit and municipal spreads during the quarter."

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