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|Washington Mutual Launches 'Small Revolution in Banking' in Metro New York|
|SEATTLE, Jul 22, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Washington Mutual,
Inc. today officially kicked-off a market entry blitz that will put an end to
banking as usual in Metro New York.
The company, which is already the leading residential mortgage lender in New York, is launching a multi-media marketing campaign to support its new 127-store retail banking operation in the metro area.
"We want people to understand who Washington Mutual is and what we're about," said Kerry Killinger, the company's chairman, president and CEO. "We believe our focus on delivering great value with friendly, efficient service to middle-market consumers will be a key differentiator from our large commercial banking competitors in New York," he said. "We're looking forward to competing in one of the greatest cities in world."
Killinger, along with a handful of Washington Mutual's New York employees, celebrated the launch this morning by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
Washington Mutual's multi-media marketing campaign will feature a full- range of television, radio, outdoor and print advertising - along with a heavy dose of satiric humor -- to promote its down-home approach and middle-market consumer focus.
"New Yorkers are tired of empty promises from their banks," said Brad Davis, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Community Relations of Washington Mutual. "They want a bank with a simple, straight-forward approach that delivers fast, friendly service regardless of the size of their account balance. That has been the hallmark of Washington Mutual for more than 100 years."
As part of its New York expansion plans, Washington Mutual earlier announced it will add 40 new sites in the New York metro market within the next year. "We intend to significantly grow our market presence in Metro New York in the years to come. With our Occasio store format, we have the ability to significantly expand the number of stores in the area over a relatively short period of time."
The company's nationally renowned "Occasio" store format features and an open, welcoming environment, khaki-clad staff members and even a concierge. The company recently opened five of the new stores in the New York market last month.
NEW YORK MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Since New York represents Washington Mutual's largest market launch ever, there will be virtually no stone left unturned in its efforts to deliver its declaration to consumers. Washington Mutual will "own" numerous subway stations and cars, freeway tunnel entrances and exits, along with many of New York City's most prominent downtown outdoor locations. N ew Yorkers will see WaMu's message as they unwrap their New York Times in the morning and the bank's logo will grace the paper coffee cups that are a staple for most New Yorkers' mornings. Even street vendor umbrellas will be used to advertise checking that is "truly free from the curse of monthly fees."
About Washington Mutual Inc.
With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) is a national financial services company that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. At June 30, 2002, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $261.28 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,500 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at http://www.wamu.com.
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