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Washington Mutual Bank   

Despite its name, Washington Mutual NYSE: WM is a stock financial services company based in Seattle, Washington. Its headquarters are in the Washington Mutual Tower in downtown Seattle (the second tallest building in the city). As of Jun 30, 2005, it stands as the 6th largest bank in the United States by assets, valued at $323.53 billion.

Washington Mutual's principal activities are to provide financial services consisting of mortgage banking, consumer banking, commercial banking and consumer finance to consumers and small and mid-sized businesses. Washington Mutual accepts deposits and makes, buys and sells residential loans, consumer loans and commercial loans. The Company also originates, purchases, sells and services specialty mortgage finance loans through its subsidiaries.

Washington Mutual operates approximately 2,400 retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, and financial services offices, as of April 19, 2005.


Washington Mutual was founded as the Washington National Building Loan and Investment Association on 25 September 1889 in an attempt to save Seattle's economy after a fire nearly destroyed the city. It made the first home mortgage loan on the West Coast four months later. Its name was changed to Washington Savings and Loan Association on 25 June 1908. During World War I its assets would expand by 68%.

By now called Washington Mutual Savings Bank, the company made its first acquisition on 25 July 1930, of Continental Mutual Savings Bank. Over the next fifty years it would be involved in pioneering cash machine networks and telephone banking.

In 1983, Washington Mutual bought the brokerage firm Murphey Favre and demutualized. Today, it trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WM. By 1989, its assets had doubled.


Since the acquisition of Murphey Favre, Washington Mutual has made numerous acquisitions and is now the leading mortgage lender in the United States. A list of such acquisitions follows:

Providian Financial Corporation, California, 2005
HomeSide Lending, Inc., Florida, a unit of National Australia Bank, 2002
Dime Bancorp, Inc., New York, 2002
Fleet Mortgage Corp., South Carolina, 2001
Bank United Corp., Texas, 2001
PNC Mortgage, Illinois, 2001
Alta Residential Mortgage Trust, California, 2000
Long Beach Financial Corp., California, 1999
Industrial Bank, California, 1998
H.F. Ahmanson (Home Savings of America), California, 1998
Great Western Financial Corp., 1997
United Western Financial Group, Inc., Utah, 1997
Keystone Holdings, Inc. (American Savings Bank), California, 1996
Utah Federal Savings Bank, 1996
Western Bank, Oregon, 1996
Enterprise Bank, Washington, 1995
Olympus Bank fsb, Utah, 1995
Summit Savings Bank, Washington, 1994
Far West Federal Savings Bank, Oregon, 1994
Pacific First Bank, Ontario, 1993
Pioneer Savings Bank, Washington, 1993
Great Northwest Bank, Washington, 1992
World Savings & Loan Association, California, 1992
Sound Savings & Loan Association, Washington, 1991
CrossLand Savings fsb, Utah, 1991
Vancouver Federal Savings Bank, Washington, 1991
Williamsburg Federal Savings Association, Utah, 1990
Frontier Federal Savings Association, Washington, 1990
Old Stone Bank of Washington, FSB, Rhode Island, 1990
Columbia Federal Savings Bank, Washington, 1988
Shoreline Savings Bank, Washington, 1988
Lincoln Mutual Savings Bank, Washington, 1985
United Savings Bank, Washington, 1983


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