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Washington Mutual Invests $4 Million in Equity Fund to Strengthen and Grow Hispanic-Owned Businesses

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 2, 2003--

WaMu makes largest investment from a financial institution in Hispania

Capital Partners' private equity fund; second largest investment to

                             fund overall

Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM) today announced a $4 million equity investment in Hispania Capital Partners' private equity fund, which recently closed its first round of funding. The fund is co-sponsored by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and will help strengthen and grow Hispanic-owned businesses. Investing in this fund is part of Washington Mutual's effort to support the Hispanic community and small business owners.

"We've committed $375 billion to help build strong communities through our lending and investment activities," said Bob Flowers, senior vice president of Community Lending and Investment for Washington Mutual's Community and External Affairs Division. "We were particularly interested in supporting Hispania Capital Partners because of their plan to positively and significantly impact more Hispanic people throughout the country. Our goal is to help families and business owners build wealth and achieve their financial dreams, and the Hispanic community represents a large customer base in our nation."

"This is a historic moment for the Hispanic business community," said George Herrera, USHCC president and CEO. "The USHCC is proud to be a co-sponsor of Hispania Capital Partners, the first private equity fund dedicated to Hispanic-owned businesses that is licensed by the Small Business Administration."

The Hispania Capital Partners fund will invest in geographic markets with high concentrations of Hispanic populations such as California, Texas, New York, Florida, Chicago, Denver and other key areas. Investments are expected to have transaction values between $20 million and $200 million and will be made with established companies in targeted industry segments.

Washington Mutual has a long history of service to the Hispanic community and currently meets the financial needs of many Hispanic customers throughout the United Sates. In addition to equity investments, Washington Mutual serves the Hispanic community with homeownership education and financial literacy courses; consumer, small business and mortgage lending; by serving customers in Spanish when needed; and by supporting many non-profit organizations that empower and serve this community. Recently, Washington Mutual announced a $1 million grant to the National Council of La Raza which included support for homeowner education in Hispanic communities.

About the Community and External Affairs Division

Helping to build strong, vibrant communities wherever Washington Mutual does business is integral to the company's long-term strategy. The Community and External Affairs Division oversees all community investment and development activities to ensure that Washington Mutual fulfills its community goals in the most strategic way possible. The Community and External Affairs Division manages, tracks and reports on all community-related endeavors, including grants, giving programs, volunteerism and the company's 10-year, $375 billion lending and investment commitment. The division works with a variety of groups that carry out community enrichment nationwide, such as the company's business units and partners, government agencies, schools, affordable housing groups and nonprofit community organizations.

About The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) represents the interests of more than 1.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States and Puerto Rico, which earn more than $200 billion annually. It serves as the umbrella organization for more than 130 local Hispanic chambers nationwide, and it actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs. Visit www.ushcc.com for more information.

About Hispania Capital Partners

Hispania Capital Partners is a Chicago-based private equity fund focusing on investment opportunities in later-stage companies serving the U.S. Hispanic market in the areas of print and broadcasting, business services, financial sector, information technology and food manufacturing and distribution. Hispania is a joint venture between the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Duff & Phelps.

About Washington Mutual

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual 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 and its subsidiaries had consolidated assets of $283.20 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,650 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at www.wamu.com.


    CONTACT: Washington Mutual
             Laurie McEachron, 206-461-6390
             laurie.mceachron@wamu.net

    SOURCE: Washington Mutual, Inc.