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Washington Mutual Frees New York and New Jersey from $1.50 ATM Surcharge; Company Announces 30 New Stores, Eliminates Surcharges at All of Its ATMs

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 3, 2003--Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) today gave back the buck-fifty to more than 15,000 fee-weary consumers to mark the arrival of surcharge-free ATMs in New York and New Jersey. Coin purses containing $1.50 were handed out throughout the metro area as the bank announced 30 new retail banking stores and kicked-off the surcharge-free policy.

For years, consumers and New York and New Jersey leaders have called for an end to the surcharge fee, only to be stymied by court decisions and big commercial banks. Washington Mutual is the only major bank with a no surcharge policy, so anyone can use its ATMs without being surcharged. (If a consumer accesses a non-Washington Mutual account at our ATM, his or her bank may still charge a fee.)

"Consumers are tired of being nickel-and-dimed by banks, so we're saying the buck-fifty stops here," said John Benevento, senior vice president and group manager for Washington Mutual retail banking in Manhattan, The Bronx, Westchester and Long Island.

"Washington Mutual is taking a bold step in the right direction by putting more money into New Yorkers' pockets," said New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller. "And at precisely a time when New Yorkers need it the most."

"We now have 170 stores in the metro area, and we're opening 30 more by year-end, so it's getting easier for people to find a place where they won't be surcharged for the privilege of accessing their own money," said Randy Grimm, senior vice president and group manager for Washington Mutual retail banking in New Jersey, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Rockland County.

Washington Mutual handed out more than $20,000 worth of coins to consumers in more than 70 locations in the metro area to celebrate the new policy. These locations included Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island and New Jersey.

With the opening of 30 additional retail banking stores, Washington Mutual will add more than 150 jobs to the thousands it already employs in banking and mortgage operations in New York and New Jersey. The company opened in New York and New Jersey in May 2002 after it purchased The Dime Savings Bank of New York's 123 locations.

The following areas will feature new stores by the end of 2003:

Manhattan:              Long Island:

2                       4

Queens:                 Westchester:

5                       5

Brooklyn:               Rockland County:

3                       1

Bronx:                  New Jersey:

2                       8

About Washington Mutual

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM) is a retailer of financial services that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small businesses. At June 30, 2003, Washington Mutual, Inc. and its subsidiaries had assets of $283.20 billion. Washington Mutual, Inc., though its subsidiaries, currently operates more than 2,650 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual, Inc.'s press releases are available at www.wamu.com.

    CONTACT: Washington Mutual
             Derek Aney, 646/521-3327
             Tara Williams, 646/521-3320

    SOURCE: Washington Mutual