Ohio-based Fifth Third to pay $6.5M in SEC case

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Regional bank Fifth Third Bancorp is paying $6.5 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges of improper accounting during the financial crisis.

The SEC announced Wednesday a settlement that includes penalties for the bank's former chief financial officer. Cincinnati-based Fifth Third said last month it had reached a tentative agreement with SEC staff without admitting or denying the allegations. The bank said Nov. 5 that Daniel Poston was replaced as chief financial officer and was named chief strategy and administrative officer.

The SEC said Poston must pay $100,000 and is suspended from practicing before the SEC as an accountant. He can apply for reinstatement after one year.

The federal agency says the way Fifth Third classified some commercial real estate loans in 2008 misled investors.

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