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Frank Vella Joins Washington Mutual as New Division Head for Small Business Banking

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 29, 2006--Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM) announced today it has hired Frank Vella Jr. as the new division executive for Small Business Banking.

In his new position, Vella will be responsible for all aspects of Small Business Banking at Washington Mutual, a division that represents a considerable growth opportunity for the company.

"Frank brings 35 years of retail and small business banking experience to Washington Mutual, and we're confident he will set and execute a strategy that will increase our momentum in this important segment," said Kenneth Kido, executive vice president and acting president of Washington Mutual's Retail Bank.

Vella's appointment follows an extensive nationwide search. Among Vella's initial duties will be developing specific growth strategies for our various markets and establishing a distribution and sales strategy. Kido noted that the number of small business checking accounts at Washington Mutual rose 48 percent in 2005, and average deposits rose at a similar rate.

"Small business has been an area of success for us, but there is considerable remaining opportunity," said Steve Rotella, Washington Mutual's president and chief operating officer. "I expect Frank's extensive experience and leadership skills will allow us to leverage this opportunity and strengthen our overall position in the market."

Vella was most recently senior vice president of Small Business Banking at JP Morgan Chase, where he designed and implemented a strategic sales and service business plan for 2,750 branches and expanded market share in all 17 states in which Chase operates.

Earlier he was vice president and national sales and dealer service center executive for Chase Automotive Finance and southeast regional president for Personal Financial Services.

Vella holds a bachelor of science in economics and finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He also has completed programs at Harvard Business School and the American Bankers Association Business School.

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a leading provider of financial services for consumers and small businesses. At December 31, 2005, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $343.12 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,600 retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at http://newsroom.wamu.com.

CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Mary Kelley, 206-377-6878 (Media Contact)
Alan Magleby, 212-326-6019 (Investor Contact)

SOURCE: Washington Mutual, Inc.