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Washington Mutual's Web Site Ranked No. 1; Change Sciences Ranking Based on Customer Experience

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 31, 2006--Washington Mutual was recently ranked No. 1 for bank Web sites by Change Sciences Group, an online customer experience research and consulting company. The study evaluates more than 40 leading bank sites based on what people experience as they find a checking account that meets their needs and then apply for it online.

"Convenience and simplicity are increasingly important to customers, who want to do their banking in a variety of ways -- whether it's at one of our retail banking stores, via the telephone, at an ATM, or via online," said Steve Rotella, president and chief operating officer at Washington Mutual. "What's valuable for us is that the ranking is based on the experiences people have had with us and how they think we're doing. It tells me that we are continuing to be successful in our efforts to innovate and make banking even more straightforward."

Earlier this month, Washington Mutual enhanced its online channel with a paperless account opening process in support of the new WaMu Free Checking(TM) account. Accounts can be opened in minutes at "www.wamu.com" with online approval and authentication technology that eliminates the need to mail a traditional signature card. Instead, the customer uses a special check that is included with the first order of checks and then when the bank processes that check, it uses the signature on that check as a sample for future processing.

Banks Have Worked Hard to Create a Kinder, Friendlier Experience

Steve Ellis, a Change Sciences partner, said, "Most people see banking as drudgery. The best banks are working hard to create a kinder, friendlier experience online -- and Washington Mutual has pulled ahead of the others in doing this."

In addition to the new streamlined online account opening process, the WaMu Free Checking(TM) account provides an unprecedented bundle of free features, added Rotella. The new WaMu Free Checking(TM) account offers all the features of WaMu's original Free Checking account plus: free ATM cash withdrawals, a free overdraft or insufficient funds fee wavier each year, free checks for life, cash back for debit card purchases, free outbound wires, free low-balance alerts with online banking and more (see below for more account information).

"When you add it all up, the value of the new free checking account combined with the convenience of opening it entirely online clearly sets a new standard in banking," stated Rotella.

About Washington Mutual

Washington Mutual is one of the nation's leading consumer and small business banks. At March 31, 2006, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $348.67 billion. The company was established in 1889 and currently operates more than 2,600 consumer and small business banking stores throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at www.wamunewsroom.com.

More information about the WaMu Free Checking account:

-- Free ATM Cash Withdrawals -- Washington Mutual will not charge for withdrawals from this account at non-Washington Mutual ATMs anywhere in the world (non-refundable ATM operator and foreign currency exchange and transaction fees may apply).

-- Free Checks for Life -- Customers ordering their checks through Washington Mutual can get them for free; select styles are available.

-- Free Gold Debit MasterCard(R) with Rewards -- The account comes with a Gold Debit MasterCard(R) and Washington Mutual will give a reward (currently $0.03) for each Debit MasterCard purchase transaction (PIN or signature based) during the prior year up to a total annual reward of $250 if the account is open and in good standing on the anniversary date.

-- Free Outgoing Wire Transfers -- Washington Mutual will not charge for outbound international or domestic wire transfers (non-refundable foreign currency exchange charges and intermediary and beneficiary bank fees may apply).

-- Minimum balance to open is $1. Features not available for Free Checking accounts opened prior to 3/11/06. Deposits at Washington Mutual Bank and Washington Mutual Bank fsb are FDIC insured to $100,000.

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

SOURCE: Washington Mutual