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Washington Mutual Celebrates the Season by Opening 23 New Stores in New York Metro Area during Month of December; Happy Holidays, Consumers and Small Businesses!

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2005--Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM) through its subsidiary Washington Mutual Bank, a leading retailer of financial services for consumers and small businesses, today announced the opening of 23 new retail banking stores in New York City, Westchester, Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey during the month of December, as part of the company's continuing plan to grow its geographic footprint in the New York metropolitan region.

"We're expanding our existing retail store network at convenient locations throughout the Tri-State area to give consumers and small business even greater access to our unique banking concept," 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. "We offer great value and friendly service in a welcoming environment and we're pleased to be serving the New York metropolitan region."

The new stores bring the total number of New York metro locations to more than 277 stores, and more than 2,100 stores throughout the U.S. This past July, the company celebrated its 2000th U.S. retail banking 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 in many of its locations encourages more personal service by eliminating the high counters and button-down clerks so often associated with the banking industry. 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 2005. 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 Debit MasterCard(R) when making purchases. Every time a customer makes a purchase using his or her enrolled debit card he/she earns a point. At the end of the year, Washington Mutual converts these points into cash, and donations are made to local schools.

The new stores are in the following

    New York Metro locations:                        Opening Date:
     --   44 Lake Avenue, Danbury, Conn.             12/19/05
     --   1508 Post Road, Fairfield, Conn.           12/19/05
     --   255 S Main Street, Newtown, Conn.          12/19/05
     --   2167 Summer Street, Stamford, Conn.        12/12/05
     --   188 Post Road E, Westport, Conn.           12/12/05
     --   200 E Main Street, Stratford, Conn.        12/19/05
     --   57 Bond Street, New York, NY.              12/12/05
     --   3492 E Tremont Ave., Bronx, NY.            12/19/05
     --   1043 Morris Park Ave., Bronx, NY.          12/19/05
     --   557 Melrose Ave., Bronx, NY.               12/19/05
     --   311 E. 204th St., Bronx, NY.               12/21/05
     --   77-06 13th Ave., Brooklyn, NY.             12/05/05
     --   66 Court St., Brooklyn, NY.                12/05/05
     --   2-12 Broadway, Astoria, NY.                12/05/05
     --   3747 Junction Blvd., Corona, NY.           12/12/05
     --   102 Fifth Avenue, Pelham, NY.              12/21/05
     --   26 Purchase Street, Rye, NY.               12/19/05
     --   2361 Central Park Avenue, Yonkers, NY.     12/21/05
     --   506B Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ.              12/19/05
     --   500 S River St., Hackensack, NJ.           12/19/05
     --   620 Main Ave., Passaic, NJ.                12/19/05

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 September 30, 2005, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $333.62 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,500 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.
Lisa Friedman, 212-326-6059
Shane Winn, 312-429-3052

SOURCE: Washington Mutual, Inc.