SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 31, 2003--Washington Mutual today
announced a package of services and programs designed to provide
special support and assistance to those affected by the conflict in
Iraq. These programs are effective immediately.
To help raise needed funds, the company has partnered with two
national organizations to facilitate cash donations. At its financial
centers throughout the nation, Washington Mutual will accept donations
to the American Red Cross and Mercy Corps.
Donations to the American Red Cross through Washington Mutual will
go directly to its Armed Forces Emergency Services (AFES) to help the
organization provide U.S. troops and their families in the Persian
Gulf and around the world with emergency communication services,
access to financial assistance, verification of information required
for emergency leave, counseling, family support and veterans
assistance. Currently, there are 24 Red Cross staff members on the
ground in Kuwait, living and working alongside service personnel to
link them with their families and provide a touch of home.
Mercy Corps, based in Portland, Ore., provides humanitarian relief
to refugees throughout the world. Its newly created fund, the Iraqi
Childrens' Fund, will bring water, food, hygiene supplies and other
critical aid to the children and their families displaced by the
fighting in the Middle East.
In addition to a corporate gift, Washington Mutual will match the
first $10,000 donated to each account by the general public.
Washington Mutual is also matching contributions made by its more than
50,000 employees nationwide.
People may donate to the American Red Cross and Mercy Corps at any
Washington Mutual financial center or via the Internet at
In support of the thousands of military families who are
Washington Mutual customers, the company has tailored its services to
provide assistance that extends beyond the Soldiers and Sailors Relief
For its home lending customers with family members overseas,
Washington Mutual has set up a program to help with mortgage payments.
Mortgage and consumer loan customers who are facing a financial
hardship can contact Washington Mutual at a special toll-free number,
800/323-9417, to be connected with a customer care representative who
will work with them on an individual basis. Washington Mutual will
also work with families that lose a loved one while in active duty
and, as appropriate, defer their monthly principal and interest
payments on their mortgage and consumer loans for up to one year.
Effective immediately, Washington Mutual is also offering fee
waivers for the following banking services to active military
personnel through its "In Support of the Troops" program:
-- Washington Mutual fee for using any non-Washington Mutual ATM;
-- Foreign wire transfer fees;
-- The early withdrawal penalty on Certificates of Deposit; and
-- The monthly fee for paying bills via personal Online Banking.
In order to qualify for any of these waivers, customers simply
need to stop by their nearest Washington Mutual financial center, or
call 800/788-7000 in the U.S. or 866/669-3867 from outside the U.S.
for more information.
About Washington Mutual
With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual (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, 2002, Washington Mutual and its
subsidiaries had consolidated assets of $268.30 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 www.wamu.com.
About the American Red Cross
Governed by volunteers and supported by community donations, the
American Red Cross is a nationwide network of nearly 1,000 chapters
and Blood Services regions dedicated to saving lives and helping
people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Led by 1.2
million volunteers and 30,000 employees, the Red Cross annually
mobilizes relief to families affected by more than 67,000 disasters,
trains almost 12 million people in lifesaving skills and exchanges
more than a million emergency messages for U.S. military service
personnel and their families. The Red Cross is the largest supplier of
blood and blood products to more than 3,000 hospitals across the
nation and also assists victims of international disasters and
conflicts at locations worldwide.
About Mercy Corps
Based in Portland, Ore., Mercy Corps exists to alleviate
suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure,
productive and just communities. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided
more than $640 million in aid to 74 nations. The agency currently
reaches more than 5 million people in over 30 countries. More than 91
percent of the Mercy Corps' resources are allocated to programs that
help those in need. Mercy Corps staff in Iraq and throughout the
Middle East are overseeing a robust relief effort to help families in
Iraq meet their increasing humanitarian needs. Mercy Corps has
positioned supplies and personnel in northern Iraq, Iran and Kuwait as
part of a plan to deliver food, water, shelter and medicine to 700,000
people over the next six months.
CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Libby Hutchinson, 206/461-2484
SOURCE: Washington Mutual