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Washington Mutual to Acquire Fleet Mortgage

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 2, 2001--

Strengthens Washington Mutual's Position as National Mortgage Leader; Fleet Will Continue to Offer Mortgages to Customers in its Retail Bank Markets

In a move that enhances its position as a national leader in mortgage originations and increases by more than 40 percent the residential mortgages it services, Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE: WM) today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Fleet Mortgage Corp., a unit of FleetBoston Financial Corp. (NYSE: FBF), for approximately $660 million in cash subject to certain closing adjustments.

This transaction - along with its recent acquisitions of Bank United Corp. and the mortgage operations of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. - would increase Washington Mutual's residential mortgage servicing portfolio to $451.5 billion, based on Dec. 31, 2000 data, making it the nation's second largest mortgage servicing business.

As of year-end 2000 on an adjusted basis, Fleet Mortgage had assets of approximately $6.0 billion. The transaction, which will be accounted for as a purchase, is expected to be modestly accretive to earnings per share in 2001. This estimate does not assume revenue enhancements. Annual cost savings are anticipated to be approximately 30 percent of the acquired Fleet Mortgage expense base.

Following completion of the transaction, Fleet will continue to originate mortgages in the markets served by its retail bank system. Most of these mortgages will be serviced by Washington Mutual. Fleet will continue its affordable housing programs and will maintain all existing commitments for affordable mortgages.

"This acquisition solidifies Washington Mutual's position as one of the nation's leading mortgage lenders," said Kerry Killinger, the company's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "This one move adds substantial scale to our mortgage servicing business in an industry where economies of scale are increasingly important. The acquisition further diversifies our revenue base, strengthening our sources of recurring, noninterest income. We also significantly enhance our correspondent lending capacity, rounding out our ability to drive mortgage originations through retail, broker, and correspondent channels alike," Killinger added.

The agreement calls for a franchise premium of $60 million over the agreed-upon value of Fleet Mortgage's equity at the time of closing. The adjusted book value of Fleet Mortgage's equity was approximately $600 million at year-end 2000. Washington Mutual expects to record goodwill of approximately $85 million, which includes $25 million of after-tax transaction-related expenses. Most of the goodwill is tax deductible. As of March 30, 2001, the agreement values the mortgage servicing rights at 1.83 percent of the acquired portfolio, which totaled $129.2 billion at year-end 2000.

Washington Mutual will acquire the Fleet Mortgage correspondent and broker mortgage origination channels, while Fleet will retain ownership of its retail origination channel and Telesales Center in the Northeast. The two companies will enter into an agreement through which Washington Mutual will acquire much of Fleet's retail loan originations on a correspondent basis.

"The sale of Fleet Mortgage will allow us to redeploy capital to our higher growth core businesses," said Chad Gifford, President and Chief Operating Officer of Fleet. "We will retain the retail origination staff in our bank markets and we will continue to provide our customers a range of mortgage products, including our affordable mortgage programs," Mr. Gifford added. "Scale and efficiency will determine the handful of successful competitors in the mortgage industry of the future. Washington Mutual's commitment to the business makes it an excellent partner."

Fleet expects to record a one-time after-tax loss of approximately $200 million in the first quarter related to the sale of its mortgage subsidiary, which includes valuation adjustments to the servicing rights asset, writeoff of prior goodwill, and transaction costs. Last year, Fleet Mortgage accounted for approximately 2 percent of Fleet's consolidated earnings.

The transaction also increases Washington Mutual's national mortgage market share. Inclusive of its recent acquisitions of Bank United and the mortgage operations of PNC, Washington Mutual captured a 7.3 percent share of the national residential mortgage origination market in 2000. On a pro forma basis with Fleet Mortgage, Washington Mutual's market share would be 9.3 percent nationally, and its originations would total $97.2 billion, based on year 2000 data.

Fleet Mortgage's seasoned correspondent lending network will complement Washington Mutual's existing correspondent and broker distribution channels. On a pro forma basis, the transaction would increase Washington Mutual's correspondent originations nearly 75 percent, moving it to the second rank nationally, based on year 2000 data. Washington Mutual already ranks first in broker originations and second in retail originations. In addition, Fleet Mortgage's primarily fixed-rate loan production will further complement Washington Mutual's ARM origination capacity.

Fleet Mortgage Corp., headquartered in Columbia, S.C., has more than 2,500 employees, with servicing centers in Florence, S.C. and Milwaukee, Wis. Fleet Mortgage's processing center in Providence, R.I. will remain with Fleet.

Washington Mutual said that it plans to undertake a comprehensive review of the combined operations to determine the optimal combination of sales, service, and administrative resources.

The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, and is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2001, subject to regulatory notifications, including the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Hart-Scott-Rodino, as well as other customary closing conditions.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP represented Washington Mutual. Fleet was represented by Cohane Rafferty Securities, LLC and Edwards & Angell, LLP.

About Fleet Mortgage Corp.

Fleet Mortgage, headquartered in Columbia, S.C., is a FleetBoston Financial Corp. company. A national leader in the origination of residential mortgage loans, the company provides mortgages through retail offices in the Northeast, a national network of 1,000 correspondents, wholesale brokers nationwide, and its National Telesales Center.

About Washington Mutual, Inc.

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual, Inc. is a national financial services company that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. At Dec. 31, 2000, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had consolidated 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.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: "This document contains forward-looking statements, which are not historical facts and pertain to future operating results. These forward-looking statements are within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements contained in this document that are not historical facts. When used in this document, the words "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates" and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control. In addition, these forward-looking statements are subject to assumptions with respect to future business strategies and decisions that are subject to change. Actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in these forward-looking statements for the reasons, among others, discussed under the heading "Business-Factors That May Affect Future Results" in Washington Mutual, Inc.'s 2000 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which include: the risk of the interest rate environment further compressing our margin and adversely affecting our net interest income; the risk of continued diversification of our assets and adverse changes to credit quality; competition from other financial services companies in all our markets; the concentration of operations in California adversely affecting our operating results if the California economy or real estate market declines; the risk of our inability to integrate the operations of Fleet Mortgage in an efficient manner and achieve the projected cost savings; and the risk of an economic slowdown that would adversely affect credit quality and loan originations."

Note to editors: A conference call discussing the transaction will be held on Tuesday, April 3, 10:30 a.m. EDT. The dial-in number is 800.314.7867. The replay number is 719.457.0820 and the access code is 656840. A live audio webcast of the call is available online at www.wamu.com. The call will also be archived on the company's Web site at: Archived Audio Webcast. A replay of the call will be available from approximately 2:00 p.m. EDT on April 3 until 9:00 p.m. EDT on April 13.

Today's news release and additional transaction details are available on Washington Mutual's Web site, and, at no charge, through the company's News On Demand System at 800.329.6236. (To view the Transaction Detail, you will need Acrobat Reader. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, click here)

                  Washington Mutual / Fleet Mortgage
                              Fact Sheet

                                                          Pro Forma
                             WM(1)  Fleet Mortgage(2)  WM/Fleet Mortgage

Servicing Rank (12/31/00)     4            8                2(3)

Servicing Portfolio (Bil.)  $311.3      $143.9(3)          $451.5(3)

Origination Rank (2000)       2            7                1(4)

2000 Originations (Bil.)     $76.3       $23.4             $97.2(4)


2000 Originations By Channel

Correspondent Rank              3           6                  2
Correspondent Fundings (Bil.) $22.7      $17.0              $39.7

Broker Rank                     1      Not ranked              1
Broker Fundings (Bil.)        $31.1       $3.9              $35.0

Retail Rank                     2      Not ranked              2(4)
Retail Fundings (Bil.)        $22.5       $2.5              $22.5(4)

1 Pro forma including recent acquisitions.

2 Pro forma including Summit Bancorp.

3 Pro forma including Fleet Mortgage's primary servicing portfolio,

sub-servicing of Fleet National Bank's owned loans and Fleet

Mortgage's loans pending sale to investors. 4 Fleet Mortgage's retail mortgage channel, which originated $2.5

billion of loans in 2000, is not part of the transaction and is

therefore not included in the pro forma results.

CONTACT: Washington Mutual, Seattle
Media Contact
Libby Hutchinson, 206/461-2484
or
Washington Mutual
Investor Relations Contacts
JoAnn DeGrande, 206/461-3186
Ruthanne King, 206/461-6421
or
Fleet, Boston
Media and Investor Relations Contacts
Jim Mahoney, 617/434-9552
John Kahwaty, 617/434-3650
or
Abernathy MacGregor Group, New York
Steve Bruce / Mary Beth Kissane
212/371-5999