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Washington Mutual Offers Disaster Relief to Victims of Hurricane Rita; Company to Donate $100,000 to Southeast Texas Organizations

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 30, 2005--Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM) today announced it will provide special assistance to help customers and residents living in the federally-declared disaster areas impacted by Hurricane Rita.

The company's disaster relief program includes penalty-free CD withdrawals, alternate payment plans for consumer loan and mortgage loan customers and suspension of late charges and credit reporting on loans.

Washington Mutual is also donating $100,000 to help with recovery efforts in Southeast Texas. Of that amount, $50,000 will be awarded to the United Way to help identify essential services needed during a crisis and to support their "2-1-1" helpline which provides callers with resources during emergencies and for everyday needs. The remaining funds will be distributed to several nonprofit organizations assisting with hurricane recovery efforts in the area.

Donations are also being collected at Washington Mutual retail banking stores across the nation from those who want to make financial contributions to the American Red Cross.

Earlier in September, in response to Hurricane Katrina, Washington Mutual contributed $312,000 to support the relief efforts of 36 nonprofit organizations in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. In addition, a $100,000 contribution was provided to the American Red Cross and the company forged a partnership with Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, called Washington Cares, which matched $100,000 of state residents' contributions. Washington Mutual expects to match $250,000 in employee donations for hurricane relief -- which potentially could reach a total of $500,000.

"Our heartfelt sympathy and concern goes out to all those who have been impacted by these natural disasters," said Larry Andrews, Washington Mutual's group manager for retail banking in Texas. "We hope our company's donations and other support programs along with the additional funds we collect from our employees and customers will help everyone affected recover quickly."

Washington Mutual customers, who live, work or own property in the hurricane-impacted areas and who wish to inquire about the company's disaster relief programs, should call Washington Mutual's customer care phone line or visit their local retail banking store or home loan center. For deposit account inquiries, customers can call 800-788-7000 at any time. For inquiries regarding consumer loans, customers can call 888-800-8738, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST, and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST. For mortgage loans, customers can call 800-472-1254, 24 hours each day.

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
             Nova Barnett, 404-881-0276
             Nova.barnett@wamu.net

    SOURCE: Washington Mutual, Inc.