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Washington Mutual to Enter Tampa; Move to Complement Company's Mortgage Lending Presence

SEATTLE, Jun 27, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Washington Mutual, Inc.(NYSE:WM), the nation's leading retailer of consumer financial services, today announced it is extending its presence in Florida by opening 40 to 60 of its award-winning retail financial stores in the Tampa area starting in 2004. The company currently operates 150 financial centers (branches) in Central and Southeast Florida.

"Expanding our retail bank into Tampa complements our existing presence while extending our national retail bank franchise," said Michael Amato, EVP and manager of Consumer Branch Banking for Washington Mutual Banking and Financial Services. "We aim to offer Tampa consumers a brand of banking unlike any other, which combines a good deal with friendly, efficient service for everyone. We believe our products -- with Free Checking leading the way -- in combination with our signature retail banking model will be of interest to customers who are dissatisfied with their current bank."

Washington Mutual's consumer-friendly approach to banking includes Free Checking that's truly free, surcharge-free ATMs, and unlimited free access to tellers and customer service representatives no matter what type of account. "Over the years, consumers have made it clear they don't want to be 'nickel and dimed' by their bank," said Amato. "We listened and structured our fees according. We believe our products and services will go over very well and will prove to be a great complement to our mortgage product line, which we've offered in Tampa for several years now," he said.

No Stranger to Tampa

Although Washington Mutual is now announcing plans to enter the banking market in Tampa, the company is no stranger to Florida. The company is the No. 2 home lender in the state and currently employs more than 6,000 people throughout Florida. In Tampa, Washington Mutual operates six home loan centers -- which focus exclusively on residential mortgage lending -- with plans for two more. WM Finance, one of the company's subsidiaries, is headquartered in Tampa and has eight offices in the area. The company also has a commercial banking regional office in Tampa.

Signature Brand of Retail Banking

Washington Mutual's retail financial stores represent a dramatic shift from traditional bank branches in look, feel and service. Rather than directing customers to ATMs, Washington Mutual takes its cues from cutting edge retailers, using an open, welcoming environment and top-notch customer service to draw people into the financial center. The complete package is unlike anything else available in banking.

"By uniting our customer-friendly service with innovative technology and design elements, we're able to provide something banks have never consistently delivered: an inviting customer experience," said Amato.

In the past three years, Washington Mutual has successfully opened or remodeled more than 450 financial stores using its signature retail banking model in locations across the U.S, including the company's newest retail banking markets of Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Phoenix and New York, and its well established markets, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Seattle. The company expects to open a total of 250 retail financial stores across the country this year.

About Washington Mutual

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a national financial services company that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. At March 31, 2003, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had consolidated assets of $276.97 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,500 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at

SOURCE: Washington Mutual

Washington Mutual
Sheri Pollock, 206/377-2138 (Media Relations)
JoAnn DeGrande, 206/461-3186 (Investor Relations)
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