Washington Mutual Brings First Retail Banking Stores to Chicago

Washington Mutual Brings First Retail Banking Stores to Chicago

28 Stores to Open in Chicagoland in June; 70 Slated for 2003


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Chicago, IL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–June 12, 2003–Washington Mutual, the nation’s leading growth retailer of consumer financial services, announced today it will introduce its unique brand of retail banking in Chicago on June 23. Washington Mutual is opening 28 retail banking stores on that day, the first wave of 70 stores to be open by year end 2003 – the largest bank opening in recent memory.

“Consumers in Chicago tell us they are tired of being nickel-and-dimed by their banks – teller fees, debit card fees, the list goes on and on,” said Deanna Oppenheimer, president of Washington Mutual’s Banking and Financial Services Group. “We’re known for great value and friendly service, and Chicago is ready for our brand of retail banking.”

WaMu (as it is known by current customers) will attract Chicagoland residents who have been methodically pushed out the doors of the big commercial banks and asked to use the Internet, a phone or an ATM to do their banking and access their money. Washington Mutual offers an alternative—where customers are welcome and invited to spend time in the bank’s unique retail environment, which looks more like a Gap or Starbucks than a traditional bank.

“We are setting a new standard in consumer banking by combining our proven sales and service culture with a contemporary retail look and feel,” said Tony Manisco, senior vice president and group manager for Washington Mutual retail banking in Illinois. “Our home mortgage lending experience shows Chicago consumers appreciate Washington Mutual’s way of doing business, which combines friendly, efficient service with consumer-friendly products.”

Adding to the allure of the bank’s retail environment, unbank-like brand and friendly customer service, Washington Mutual will be the first bank in the Chicago metropolitan area to offer an entire package of customer-driven products and services including Free Checking—no monthly fees, no direct deposit requirement, no teller fees, no fees for debit transactions and perhaps most significantly, surcharge free ATMs.

Although Washington Mutual is now entering the banking market in Chicagoland, the company is no stranger to Illinois. Washington Mutual is the top home lender in the state and currently employs approximately 2,700 people locally in its home lending operations.

In the past two years, Washington Mutual has successfully opened more than 450 of its retail banking stores across the U.S. in the company’s newest retail banking markets, such as Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Phoenix and New York, and its well established markets, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Seattle. The company will open an additional 250 stores across the country this year.

With its expansion into the local consumer banking market, Washington Mutual also plans to take a leadership role in the Chicago metro area through homeownership and education initiatives. To support its retail banking operations in the state, WaMu anticipates that it will add approximately 500 jobs to the area, bringing its total employee count to approximately 3,200.

The first wave of WaMu financial stores will open on June 23 at the following locations:

2790 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago

3348 N. Western Ave.
Chicago

299 S. Rand Rd.
Lake Zurich

553 E. Dundee Rd.
Palatine

1906 N. Richmond Rd.
McHenry

1900 Dempster St.
Evanston

3070 N. Lewis Ave.
Waukegan

800 S. Buffalo Grove Rd.
Buffalo Grove

4141 Dundee Rd.
Northbrook

8205 W. Golf Rd.
Niles

1519 Lee St.
Des Plaines

525 Dundee Ave.
East Dundee

131 W. Wing St.
Arlington Heights

1026 S. Elmhurst Rd.
Mt. Prospect

6837 W. Dempster St.
Morton Grove

1044 Mount Prospect Plaza
Mt. Prospect

545 Roosevelt Rd.
Glen Ellyn

1576 W. Irving Park Rd.
Hanover Park

91 W. Schaumburg Rd.
Schaumburg

207 E. Butterfield Rd.
Elmhurst

1167 N. Eola Rd.
Aurora

51 Garden Market St.
Western Springs

2408 Route 30
Oswego

16072 S. Harlem Ave.
Tinley Park

5456 W. 159th St.
Oak Forest

7772 S. Cicero Ave.
Burbank

9600 Roberts Rd.
Hickory Hills

12266 Pulaski Rd.
Alsip

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a retailer of consumer financial services 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 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 http://www.wamu.com.

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CONTACT:

Tara Williams

P: (646) 521-3320

or

Alfredo Padilla

213.217.4093

Washington Mutual Brings First Retail Banking Stores to Chicago