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Washington Mutual Selects San Antonio as Home for New Regional Operations Center; Announcement comes with purchase of MCI San Antonio Campus

SAN ANTONIO, Jun 29, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) today announced the selection of San Antonio as the location of its new regional operations center to serve its future growth.

"Washington Mutual is thrilled to announce today that San Antonio will be the home of our new regional operations center," said Washington Mutual's Chief Administrative Officer Benson Porter. "San Antonio offers a business-friendly environment, a strong workforce, great quality of life, affordable housing for our employees, a central location, and a viable real estate solution to accommodate our growth."

As one of the largest job creation announcements in the United States so far this year, Washington Mutual will add as many as 4,200 jobs in Texas over the next seven years. The news came in conjunction with Washington Mutual's announcement of the purchase of MCI's San Antonio campus located at 20855 Stone Oak, a three-building campus with 405,000 square feet of prime office space that can accommodate as many as 2,250 employees, and can be expanded to accommodate as many as 4,200 employees.

During the press conference, Porter recognized Judge Wolff, Mayor Garza, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, as well as the Economic Development departments of the City of San Antonio, Bexar County and the State of Texas for their support and efforts to bring Washington Mutual to San Antonio. He also pointed to the Texas Enterprise Fund as the catalyst that triggered Washington Mutual's decision to select Texas.

"As a result of a team effort by state, county, city and business leaders, Washington Mutual is doubling its presence in Texas and bringing 4,200 new jobs to the state," said Governor Rick Perry. "Every job Washington Mutual creates not only represents a new opportunity for a family to afford their dreams but also puts more money flowing through the entire economy as paychecks are cashed and spent."

Along with the support of the state, the City of San Antonio and Bexar County also approved various attractive incentives that helped land Washington Mutual to San Antonio.

"Washington Mutual was born in 1889 with a commitment to helping rebuild Seattle after a disastrous fire, and that kind of commitment has made the company a financial powerhouse and a valued neighbor in communities across the country," said Mayor Hardberger. "Their culture is a perfect fit with San Antonio, and we welcome this great American company to our great American city."

Washington Mutual's press conference was joined by Texas Governor Rick Perry, San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger, former Mayor Ed Garza, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Ed Kelley of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and several community leaders, and state and local dignitaries.

"To bring a company of the quality and reputation of Washington Mutual to the city is a huge victory for San Antonio," said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. "A lot of team work was necessary to make today happen and I know those of us working at the local and state level can all agree that Washington Mutual has been an outstanding partner throughout the process. This is a great day for Washington Mutual, for San Antonio and for Texas."

Washington Mutual's regional operations center will support various areas of the company's business lines, which include consumer banking and home loans. The center will begin operations later this year with the expansion of the company's Enterprise Contact Center that will support Washington Mutual's expected future growth.

"This is the biggest project the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and city leadership have ever pursued in terms of the number of jobs," said Ed Kelley, Chairman of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. "Washington Mutual's regional operations center will very likely be among the largest corporate locations in the nation for 2005."

Washington Mutual will begin hiring over the next few months through online job postings at www.wamu.com, as well as future employment events in San Antonio.

Washington Mutual entered Texas in 1998 through its acquisition of H.F. Ahmanson & Company, parent of Home Savings of America and Savings of America. As a result of that acquisition, Washington Mutual gained 48 financial centers with about 350 employees throughout the state. In 2001, Washington Mutual acquired Bank United, adding another 147 financial centers with approximately 1,500 employees to its Texas franchise, totaling nearly 200 financial centers statewide. Today, Washington Mutual has over 3,500 employees throughout the state with 250 Texas locations, a Texas regional office in Houston and a National Operations Center in Irving.

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 March 31, 2005, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $319.70 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.

SOURCE: Washington Mutual

Washington Mutual Joe Arbona, 713-822-2189 or 713-543-6714 (Media Contact)