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Washington Mutual Brings First Retail Banking Stores to Chicago

28 Stores to Open in Chicagoland in June; 70 Slated for 2003

CHICAGO, June 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM), the nation's leading growth retailer of consumer financial services, announced today it will introduce its unique brand of retail banking in Chicago on June 23. Washington Mutual is opening 28 retail banking stores on that day, the first wave of 70 stores to be open by year end 2003 -- the largest bank opening in recent memory.

"Consumers in Chicago tell us they are tired of being nickel-and-dimed by their banks -- teller fees, debit card fees, the list goes on and on," said Deanna Oppenheimer, president of Washington Mutual's Banking and Financial Services Group. "We're known for great value and friendly service, and Chicago is ready for our brand of retail banking."

WaMu (as it is known by current customers) will attract Chicagoland residents who have been methodically pushed out the doors of the big commercial banks and asked to use the Internet, a phone or an ATM to do their banking and access their money. Washington Mutual offers an alternative-where customers are welcome and invited to spend time in the bank's unique retail environment, which looks more like a Gap or Starbucks than a traditional bank.

"We are setting a new standard in consumer banking by combining our proven sales and service culture with a contemporary retail look and feel," said Tony Manisco, senior vice president and group manager for Washington Mutual retail banking in Illinois. "Our home mortgage lending experience shows Chicago consumers appreciate Washington Mutual's way of doing business, which combines friendly, efficient service with consumer-friendly products."

Adding to the allure of the bank's retail environment, unbank-like brand and friendly customer service, Washington Mutual will be the first bank in the Chicago metropolitan area to offer an entire package of customer-driven products and services including Free Checking-no monthly fees, no direct deposit requirement, no teller fees, no fees for debit transactions and perhaps most significantly, surcharge free ATMs.

Although Washington Mutual is now entering the banking market in Chicagoland, the company is no stranger to Illinois. Washington Mutual is the top home lender in the state and currently employs approximately 2,700 people locally in its home lending operations.

In the past two years, Washington Mutual has successfully opened more than 450 of its retail banking stores across the U.S. in the company's newest retail banking markets, such as Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Phoenix and New York, and its well established markets, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Seattle. The company will open an additional 250 stores across the country this year.

With its expansion into the local consumer banking market, Washington Mutual also plans to take a leadership role in the Chicago metro area through homeownership and education initiatives. To support its retail banking operations in the state, WaMu anticipates that it will add approximately 500 jobs to the area, bringing its total employee count to approximately 3,200.

    The first wave of WaMu financial stores will open on June 23 at the
following locations:

        2790 N. Clybourn Ave.                  6837 W. Dempster St.
        Chicago Morton Grove

        3348 N. Western Ave.                   1044 Mount Prospect Plaza
        Chicago                                Mt. Prospect

        299 S. Rand Rd.                        545 Roosevelt Rd.
        Lake Zurich                            Glen Ellyn

        553 E. Dundee Rd.                      1576 W. Irving Park Rd.
        Palatine                               Hanover Park

        1906 N. Richmond Rd.                   91 W. Schaumburg Rd.
        McHenry                                Schaumburg

        1900 Dempster St.                      207 E. Butterfield Rd.
        Evanston                               Elmhurst

        3070 N. Lewis Ave.                     1167 N. Eola Rd.
        Waukegan                               Aurora

        800 S. Buffalo Grove Rd.               51 Garden Market St.
        Buffalo Grove                          Western Springs

        4141 Dundee Rd.                        2408 Route 30
        Northbrook                             Oswego

        8205 W. Golf Rd.                       16072 S. Harlem Ave.
        Niles                                  Tinley Park

        1519 Lee St.                           5456 W. 159th St.
        Des Plaines                            Oak Forest

        525 Dundee Ave.                        7772 S. Cicero Ave.
        East Dundee                            Burbank

        131 W. Wing St.                        9600 Roberts Rd.
        Arlington Heights                      Hickory Hills

        1026 S. Elmhurst Rd.                   12266 Pulaski Rd.
        Mt. Prospect                           Alsip

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a retailer of consumer financial services that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. At March 31, 2003, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $276.97 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 www.wamu.com .

SOURCE  Washington Mutual
    -0-                             06/12/2003
    /CONTACT:  Tara Williams of Washington Mutual, +1-646-521-3320,
tara.williams@wamu.net /
    /Web site:  http://www.wamu.com /

CO:  Washington Mutual
ST:  Illinois
IN:  FIN REA
SU:  PDT



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5759 06/12/2003 13:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com