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Washington Mutual and StartupNation-R- Team up to Provide Small Business Owners with the Tools for Success

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 6, 2004--Washington Mutual Inc. (NYSE:WM) and its banking subsidiaries today announced they have teamed up with StartupNation(R), a Michigan-based multimedia company that produces a nationally syndicated radio show, to provide small business owners with inspiring, entertaining information to help them manage and grow their business.

"We are always looking at innovative ways to provide financial products and services to our customers," said Clark Collins, senior vice president of consumer group marketing at Washington Mutual. "We believe the StartupNation programs will provide additional tools and resources that will help small business customers succeed."

Through its multimedia platform, including print, broadcast, online and events, StartupNation features small business experts, the Sloan brothers -- Jeff and Rich -- who infuse personality behind traditional business content.

"This is not your everyday, conventional bank approach to small business," stated Rich Sloan, StartupNation co-founder. "As tried-and-true entrepreneurs, we are here to push the envelope and make learning fun, while providing valuable insight."

Starting this week, Washington Mutual will be sponsoring StartupNation's "Small Business Blasts," which are 60-second radio advertisements that highlight key business principles. These radio vignettes will air on news talk radio stations in 11 markets across the country. Additionally, Washington Mutual is the title sponsor of StartupNation Radio, a one-hour program hosted by the Sloan brothers, which is syndicated to more than 40 stations nationwide.

StartupNation business content can be found on Washington Mutual's recently launched Small Business Resource Center, which is available through a link on its website at www.wamu.com. Additionally, Washington Mutual's business checking customers have access to the benefits of the StartupNation Passport(R), a tool which helps small business owners gain efficiency, save money and obtain expert information. Benefits include:

    --  Webinar Wednesdays (online seminars).
    --  StartupNation weekly e-Newsletter.
    --  Vendor discounts.
    --  Weekly telephone coaching sessions with the Sloan brothers.
    --  StartupNation 100 Best Resource Guide, which ranks the 100
        best vendors for small business.
    --  StartupNation's Spotlight on Success, in which customers have
        the opportunity to be highlighted on the StartupNation radio
        show or in the weekly newsletter, and thereby allows them to
        market their ideas or business.

"The StartupNation Passport provides entrepreneurs the entry to smarts, savings and success," said Jeff Sloan, founder, StartupNation. "And Washington Mutual customers have the added benefit of possibly sharing their business story on our radio show or weekly newsletter -- thus promoting their business to a significant national audience."

Washington Mutual will also be sponsoring events in key markets across the country where the Sloan brothers will be appearing. Some of these events include the upcoming Oregon Economic & Business Forum, www.groworegonbiz.com taking place on May 4 and 5 in Portland, as well as the Fortune Small Business 2004 "Go to Growth" event series, www.fsbconferences.com, to be held in Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago and Los Angeles.

About Washington Mutual

Washington Mutual has been recognized for its innovation and retail banking strategy, both nationally and internationally. Fortune magazine announced that Washington Mutual was the No. 1 rated company nationally in the innovation category as part of its 2004 Most Admired Companies list, and the company was named the "Best Retail Bank -- Americas" in the Lafferty International Retail Banking Awards announced last November.

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 December 31, 2003, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $275.18 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,400 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at www.wamu.com.

About StartupNation

Founded by Jeff and Rich Sloan, StartupNation, www.startupnation.com, is a content company that provides expert advice on all aspects of starting and growing a business. StartupNation provides information via an entertaining multimedia platform -- including a nationally-syndicated radio show -- which targets entrepreneurs and forward-thinking small business owners.


    CONTACT: Washington Mutual Inc.
             Mary Kelley, 206-377-6878
             mary.kelley@wamu.net

    SOURCE: Washington Mutual Inc.