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Washington Mutual Offers Earthquake Relief Services

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 1, 2001--Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) today announced that customers who are recovering from yesterday's 6.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred in Western Washington may be eligible for a variety of assistance programs, including accelerated home equity loans at reduced rates, flexible mortgage payment schedules and penalty-free withdrawals from time deposits.

"Our commitment to the Seattle community during times of need dates back more than 100 years when we helped the city get back on its feet following the Great Seattle Fire of 1889," said Bill Ehrlich, executive vice president heading Corporate Relations for Washington Mutual. "This special earthquake relief program is in keeping with our long-standing commitment to the people of Seattle and Western Washington."

The company is also donating $15,000 for disaster relief through the Seattle King County American Red Cross and collecting additional donations for disaster aid from those who want to help at its branches.

Ehrlich said Washington Mutual would reduce the current rate on home equity loans by 0.25%. Approved loan funds will be disbursed quickly.

In addition, the loan application and approval process has been streamlined on Personal Lines of Credit. Washington Mutual said that many of its customers throughout the impacted communities in Western ¶ Washington could be eligible for these programs. Customers who live, work or own property in the quake-impacted communities of Western Washington, and believe they may be eligible, should visit their local financial center or call Washington Mutual's telephone banking unit at 800/756-8000.

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM) is a national financial services company that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. At December 31, 2000, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $194.72 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,000 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's news releases are available at www.wamu.com.

Editor's Note: Washington Mutual's news releases are available at no charge through the company's News On Demand Plus System. For a menu of Washington Mutual news releases or to retrieve a specific release, call 1-800-329-6236. On the Internet, news releases may be accessed at http://www.businesswire.com/cnn/wm.shtml.

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CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Mary Kelley, 206/377-6878