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Washington Mutual Bank Opens in Connecticut with Five New Stores; Award-Winning Retail Banking Concept Comes to Connecticut Consumers and Small Businesses

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 13, 2005--Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM), a leading retailer of financial services for consumers and small businesses, has opened five new retail banking stores in Fairfield County, Connecticut as a part of the company's continuing growth in the New York metropolitan area. Seven additional locations are scheduled to open by the end of 2005.

"Opening stores in Connecticut is key to our long-term plans for serving consumers and small businesses in the Tri-State area," said John Benevento, senior vice president and group manager for Washington Mutual's retail branch network in Connecticut, Manhattan, The Bronx, Westchester and Long Island. "In 2002, we introduced customers in New York and New Jersey to a unique banking concept that combined products and services offering a good deal and friendly customer service in a welcoming retail environment. Our new Connecticut stores reflect this approach and complement our existing Northeast retail store network."

    The new Connecticut stores are in the following locations:

    --  14 Danbury Road, Wilton

    --  55 Westport Avenue, Norwalk

    --  340 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich

    --  1131 High Ridge Road, Stamford

    --  161 Boston Avenue, Bridgeport

Washington Mutual has approximately 30 employees in Fairfield County with the new store openings.

The new stores bring the total number of New York metro locations to more than 250 stores, and more than 2,000 stores throughout the nation. Washington Mutual acquired 123 branches in 2002 through the purchase of The Dime Savings Bank, and this past July the company celebrated its 2000th store opening in New York.

The company was one of the first financial institutions in the United States to offer customers a Free Checking product with no direct deposit or minimum balance requirements to avoid a monthly fee. Other competitive products and services Washington Mutual offers customers include free Personal Online Banking with Personal Bill Pay(TM) service and Free Business Checking.

Known as the industry leader in the revival of retail branch banking, Washington Mutual serves customers in a warm and inviting environment more reminiscent of a top-notch retailer than a financial institution.

The store's circular layout eliminates the high counters and button-down clerks so often associated with the banking industry and encourages more personal service. Gone are teller windows, which are instead replaced with teller "towers" that allow for easier interaction between the customers and service representatives. In many stores, a "WaMu Kids(R)" section features a play area with an activity table, books, electronic games and more.

The company was named the "Best Retail Bank - Americas" in the Lafferty International Retail Banking Award in 2003. In 2004, the company received a U.S. patent for its retail banking concept, the first one issued to describe a full-service branch concept.

Washington Mutual gives back to the community through a variety of programs including the WaMoola for Schools(R) program, which allows customers to raise money for schools simply by using their Washington Mutual VISA(R) Check Card when making purchases. Every time a customer makes a purchase using his or her enrolled check card he/she earns a point. At the end of the year, Washington Mutual converts these points into cash and donations are made to the school of the customer's choice.

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 commercial clients. At June 30, 2005, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $323.53 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, Inc.
             Derek Aney, 212-326-6075
             Derek.aney@wamu.net
             or
             Tara Williams, 212-326-6076
             tara.williams@wamu.net

    SOURCE: Washington Mutual, Inc.