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Washington Mutual Announces Disaster Relief Program to Aid Florida Hurricane Victims; Company Engages Programs to Help Speed up Recovery Efforts, Ease Customers' Concerns

ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 4, 2004--Washington Mutual today announced that it will provide special assistance to help Florida communities rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Frances. The company's disaster relief program includes penalty-free CD withdrawals, reduced interest rates on Home Equity Loans, quick approval on personal lines of credit and alternate payment plans for loan customers.

Washington Mutual is also waiving fees for its Florida customers who are not able to locate or use the company's ATM. The bank does not charge non-customers a fee for using its ATMs.

The bank has also opened an account which allows the public to make donations to the American Red Cross for recovery efforts. Deposits can be made nationwide and customers may designate the Florida county where they would like to apply their contribution.

In planning for recovery efforts, the bank is also engaging its volunteer program which will allow employees from other parts of the company to travel to the impacted areas and cover work responsibilities for Florida employees tending to personal and family needs.

"We want to help our employees, friends and neighbors get their homes and lives back to normal as quickly as possible," said Gwynn Virostek, senior vice president and Consumer Banking group manager of the bank's South and West-Central Florida markets.

"We're engaging these programs and volunteer efforts to help speed up recovery and ease our customers' minds as they resolve problems that arise as a result of this natural disaster," said Lloyd Goodlett, senior vice president and Consumer Banking group manager of the bank's Mid-Atlantic region.

Washington Mutual customers who live, work or own property in the hurricane-impacted areas who wish to inquire about the bank's disaster relief programs should call Washington Mutual's customer care phone line or visit their local retail banking store. For deposit account inquiries customers can call 800.788.7000 at any time, and for consumer and mortgage loan programs customers can call 800.472.1254 Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.

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 commercial clients. At June 30, 2004, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $278.54 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,400 retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at www.wamunewsroom.com.

    CONTACT: Washington Mutual
             Nova Hunn Barnett,
             Office: 404-881-0276
             after hours: 404-314-9500
             Derek Aney, 646-521-3327

    SOURCE: Washington Mutual