|Industry||Finance and Insurance|
|Founded||September 25, 1889in Seattle, Washington as Washington National Building Loan and Investment Association|
|Defunct||September 25, 2008as Washington Mutual Bank|
|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
Number of employees
|Parent||Washington Mutual Inc.|
|Subsidiaries||WaMu Investments, Inc; Washington Mutual Insurance Services; Washington Mutual Card Services|
|Website||Archived official website at the Wayback Machine (archive index)|
Washington Mutual, Inc—abbreviated to WaMu—was a savings bank holding company and the former owner of WaMu Bank, which was the United States' largest savings and loan association until its collapse in 2008.
On Thursday, September 25, 2008, the United States Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) seized WaMu Bank from WaMu, Inc. and placed it into receivership with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The OTS took the action due to the withdrawal of $16.7 billion in deposits during a 9-day bank run (amounting to 9% of the deposits it had held on June 30, 2008). The FDIC sold the banking subsidiaries (minus unsecured debt and equity claims) to JPMorgan Chase for $1.9 billion, which JPMorgan Chase had been planning to acquire as part of a confidential plan internally nicknamed Project West. All WaMu branches were rebranded as Chase branches by the end of 2009. The holding company, WaMu, Inc., was left with $33 billion in assets, and $8 billion in debt, after being stripped of its banking subsidiary by the FDIC. The next day, WaMu, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 voluntary bankruptcy in Delaware, where it was incorporated.
Regarding total assets under management, WaMu's closure and receivership is the largest bank failure in American financial history. Before the receivership action, it was the sixth-largest bank in the United States. According to WaMu Inc.'s 2007 SEC filing, the holding company held assets valued at $327.9 billion.
On March 20, 2009, WaMu filed suit against the FDIC in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking damages of approximately $13 billion for an alleged unjustified seizure and unfair low sale price to JPMorgan Chase. JPMorgan Chase promptly filed a counterclaim in the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, where the WaMu bankruptcy proceedings had been continuing since the Office of Thrift Supervision's seizure of the holding company's bank subsidiaries.
Despite its name, WaMu ceased being a mutual company in 1983 when it demutualized and became a public company on March 11. On June 30, 2008, WaMu had total assets of US$307 billion, with 2,239 retail branch offices operating in 15 states, with 4,932 ATMs, and 43,198 employees. It held liabilities in the form of deposits of $188.3 billion, and owed $82.9 billion to the Federal Home Loan Bank, and had subordinated debt of $7.8 billion. It held as assets of $118.9 billion in single-family loans, of which $52.9 billion were “option adjustable rate mortgages” (Option ARMs), with $16 billion in subprime mortgage loans, and $53.4 billion of Home Equity lines of Credit (HELOCs) and credit cards receivables of $10.6 billion. It was servicing for itself and other banks loans totaling $689.7 billion, of which $442.7 were for other banks. It had non-performing assets of $11.6 billion, including $3.23 billion in payment option ARMs and $3.0 billion in subprime mortgage loans.
On September 15, 2008, the holding company received a credit rating agency downgrade. From that date through September 24, 2008, WaMu experienced a bank run whereby customers withdrew $16.7 billion in deposits over those nine days, and in excess of $22 billion in cash outflow since July 2008, both conditions which ultimately led the Office of Thrift Supervision to close the bank.
The FDIC then sold most of the bank's assets to JPMorgan Chase for $1.9 billion in cash plus assumption of all secured debt and some unsecured debt. Claims of the subsidiary bank's equity holders, senior and subordinated debt (all primarily owned by the holding company) were not assumed by JPMorgan Chase.[clarification needed]
WaMu was incorporated as the Washington National Building Loan and Investment Association on September 25, 1889, after the Great Seattle Fire destroyed 120 acres (49 ha) of the central business district of Seattle. The newly formed company made its first home mortgage loan on the West Coast on February 10, 1890. It changed its name to Washington Savings and Loan Association on June 25, 1908. By September 12, 1917, it was operating under the name WaMu Savings Bank. The company purchased its first company, the financially distressed Continental Mutual Savings Bank, on July 25, 1930. Its marketing slogan for much of its history was “The Friend of the Family”.
In April 1982, WaMu purchased the brokerage firm Murphey Favre for undisclosed amount in cash and demutualized the following year, converting into a capital stock savings bank. Stock in the capital stock savings bank was first offered for sale on March 11, 1983. By 1989, its assets had doubled.
In November 1994, WaMu formed a new holding called Washington Mutual, Inc. and separated its non-banking units from its primary banking unit, Washington Mutual Savings Bank, which was simultaneously renamed Washington Mutual Bank. The company's stock continued to trade on Nasdaq under WAMU.
In October 2005, WaMu purchased the formerly "subprime" credit card issuer Providian for approximately $6.5 billion, although Providian's new management team's strategy of targeting Prime credit card consumers had been underway since 2001, therefore the credit card unit's nonperforming loan portfolio had improved significantly prior to the company's sale to WaMu. In March 2006, WaMu began the move into its new headquarters, WaMu Center, located in downtown Seattle. The company's previous headquarters, WaMu Tower, stands about a block away from the new building on Second Avenue. In August 2006, WaMu began using the official abbreviation of WaMu in all but legal situations.
After the acquisition of Murphey Favre, WaMu made numerous acquisitions with the aim of expanding the corporation. By acquiring companies including PNC Mortgage, Fleet Mortgage and Homeside Lending, WaMu became the third-largest mortgage lender in the U.S. With the acquisition of Providian Financial Corporation in October 2005, WaMu became the nation's 9th-largest credit-card company.
Many of WaMu's acquisitions became reviled as the rapid post-merger integrations resulted in numerous errors. The purchase of the original PNC Mortgage came at a time when subprime lending was in a “boom” period, with PNC Financial Services believing that the market was too volatile. (PNC later re-entered the mortgage market in 2009 through its acquisition of National City Corp., with no plans to re-enter subprime lending.) The Dime merger resulted in account ownership to be split with account beneficiaries. The Fleet Mortgage merger resulted in entire loans simply disappearing—being serviced, but unable to be found by customer service representatives.
In April 1983, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of three branch offices from the Tacoma-based United Mutual Savings Bank for $3.25 million. In April 1984, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Spokane-based Lincoln Mutual Savings Bank with 14 of its 16 branch offices for $4.5 million. At the time of the announcement, WaMu had 39 branch offices, mostly in western Washington.
In May 1987, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Wenatchee-based Columbia Federal Savings Bank for $40 million and also the Seattle-based Shoreline Savings Bank for $7.5 million. At the time of the announcement in May 1987, WaMu had 50 branch offices, all within Washington state. Both acquisitions were completed in April 1988.
In January 1990, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of all seven offices of the Seattle-based Old Stone Bank of Washington from the Rhode Island-based Old Stone Corporation for an undisclosed amount. Old Stone originally entered the state of Washington through the acquisition of the ailing Seattle-based Citizens Federal Savings and Loan Association in 1985 with the assistance of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. The acquisition by WaMu was completed in June 1990 for $10 million.
In June 1990, WaMu announced the completed acquisition of all six offices of the failed Walla Walla-based Frontier Federal Savings and Loan Association in Eastern Washington from the Resolution Trust Corporation for $1.8 million.
In September 1990, WaMu announced the completed acquisition of all three Washington branches of the failed Utah-based Williamsburg Federal Savings and Loan Association from the Resolution Trust Corporation for $1.3 million.
In November 1990, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Vancouver-based VanFed Bancorp with its Vancouver Federal Savings Bank subsidiary for $23.3 million. At the time of the announcement in November 1990, WaMu had 75 branch offices, all within Washington state. The acquisition was completed in August 1991.
The acquisition of the Pacific Northwest branch offices from the New York-based CrossLand Savings Bank that was announced in April 1991 and completed in November 1991 gave WaMu four offices within the state of Washington in addition to other offices located in the state of Oregon.
In August 1991, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Seattle-based Sound Savings and Loan Association for an undisclosed amount. At the time of the announcement in August 1991, WaMu had 84 branch offices, all within Washington state. The acquisition was completed in January 1992.
In September 1991, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Bremerton-based GNW Financial Corporation with its Great Northwest Bank subsidiary for $64 million in cash and stock. The acquisition was completed in April 1992.
In December 1991, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of both Washington state branch offices of the California-based World Savings and Loan Association of America, a subsidiary of Golden West Financial, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition was completed in March 1992.
In August 1992, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Lynnwood-based Pioneer Savings Bank for $181 million in stock. The acquisition was completed in March 1993.
In October 1992, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the ailing Seattle-based Pacific First Financial Corporation with its Pacific First Bank subsidiary for $663 million from its Canada-based parent Royal Trustco. The acquisition was contingent on having Pacific First dispose of its branch offices in California and having its Canadian parent Royal Trustco assume all of Pacific First's bad loans. The acquisition was completed in April 1993. At the time of the initial announcement in October 1992, WaMu had 118 branch offices in Washington and Oregon while Pacific First had 127 branch offices in Washington, Oregon and California. Pacific First had previously announced that it was trading its California offices for Great Western's Washington offices. As a result of the Pacific First acquisition, WaMu became one of the largest banking institution based upon consumer deposits in the state of Washington, second only to Seafirst.
In June 1994, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Bellevue-based Summit Bancorp with its Summit Savings Bank subsidiary for $25 million in stock. At the time of the announcement, WaMu had 231 branch offices in Washington and Oregon. The acquisition was completed in November 1994.
In June 1995, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Bellevue-based Enterprise Bank for $26.8 million in stock, this was WaMu's entry into the commercial banking sector. Enterprise Bank was a highly profitable one unit carriage trade business bank staffed with highly successful management. WaMu named Tom Cleveland President of the commercial banking unit which later included Western Bank in Coos Bay Oregon. At the time of the announcement, WaMu had 260 branch offices. Unlike the previous acquisition targets, Enterprise held a commercial bank charter and not a thrift charter.
In April 1991, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the 25 offices in the Portland, Oregon / Vancouver, Washington area from the ailing New York-based CrossLand Savings Bank, a subsidiary of Brooklyn Bancorp, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition was completed in November 1991. Seven of the 25 offices were located in Washington with the remainder in Oregon. As part of the transaction, CrossLand Savings closed seven offices in Oregon and three offices in Washington, leaving eleven offices in Oregon and four in Washington. CrossLand had previously entered Oregon (and three other states) through the relatively recent acquisition of the troubled Utah-based Western Savings and Loan Association. The CrossLand acquisition gave WaMu a toe hold entry into Oregon via Portland.
As a result of the Pacific First acquisition in April 1993, WaMu became the fourth largest banking institution based upon consumer deposits within the state of Oregon. Originally, Pacific First grew quickly in Oregon during the late 1980s through the acquisition of troubled savings and loans. By February 1991, Pacific First had 78 branches in Oregon, more than any other thrift. Pacific First had 71 branches in Oregon by July 1992.
In April 1994, WaMu announced the completed acquisition of three Portland-area offices of the failed Portland-based Far West Federal Savings Bank from the Resolution Trust Corporation for $2.2 million.
In October 1995, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Coos Bay-based Western Bank for $156 million in stock. The acquisition was completed in February 1996. Since Western Bank possessed a commercial bank charter and not a more restrictive savings & loan charter, WaMu decided to allow Western Bank to keep its charter and name and to remain semi-autonomous for a while. At the time of the acquisition, Western Bank had 41 offices throughout Oregon. Five years later, WaMu decided to abandon the Western Bank brand and integrate most of the former Western Bank offices into the existing WaMu network in Oregon in 2001. Due to branch overlaps between the two brands, 12 Western Bank branch offices and one WaMu branch office were sold to the Klamath Falls-based Klamath First Bancorp for $33 million.
In March 1994, WaMu announced that they were planning to expand into the state of Idaho by building new branch offices inside Fred Meyer supermarket stores with the first three being opened in the Boise-area in July and August.
In the following year, WaMu opened a fourth Idaho location in a Moscow supermarket in February 1995.
A branch office in Idaho Falls was acquired from the Utah-based United Savings Bank when WaMu purchased the savings bank in January 1997.
By March 2000, there were 9 locations within Idaho and later 22 locations in 2008 when Chase acquired WaMu.
In July 1994, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Salt Lake City-based Olympus Capital Corporation with its Olympus Bank, FSB, subsidiary for $52.1 million in stock. At the time of the announcement, WaMu had 250 branch offices in Washington and Oregon while Olympus had eight branch offices in Utah and two in Montana. The acquisition was completed in May 1995.
In March 1996, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Ogden-based Utah Federal Savings Bank for an undisclosed amount. At the time of the announcement, Utah Federal had five branch offices while WaMu had 16 within Utah. The acquisition was completed in December 1996 for $15.2 million.
In September 1996, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Salt Lake City-based United Western Financial Group Inc. with its United Savings Bank subsidiary for $80.3 million in cash. At the time of the announcement, United Savings Bank had eight branch offices in Utah and one in Idaho. The acquisition was completed in January 1997.
In May 1995, WaMu acquired two branch offices in Butte as the result of the acquisition of the Utah-based Olympus Capital Corporation with its Olympus Bank FSB subsidiary. Four years later, WaMu later sold the two offices to Glacier Bancorp in 1999 for an undisclosed amount and quietly left the state of Montana.
In July 1996, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Fort Worth, Texas-based Keystone Holdings Inc. with its Irvine-based American Savings Bank subsidiary for $1.6 billion in stock. At the time of the announcement, WaMu had 317 branch offices in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana while American Savings Bank had 220 branch offices in California. The acquisition was completed in December 1996. American kept its name after the acquisition. The result of the acquisition nearly doubled the total deposits of all WaMu subsidiaries from $22 billion to $42 billion.
In February 1997, the Chatsworth-based Great Western Financial, the holding company for second largest thrift in the nation Great Western Bank, found itself the target of a hostile takeover attempt of arch-rival H. F. Ahmanson & Co., the holding company for the largest thrift in the nation Home Savings of America, that would have involved $5.8 billion worth of stock. Since the two companies had large overlapping territories, many Great Western offices would have been closed by the victor if the takeover attempt had succeeded. The only way the combat a hostile takeover was to find another company, a so-called white knight, that would allow a merger on much better terms. One such company was WaMu. In March, Great Western Financial announced that it had accepted WaMu's merger proposal for $6.6 billion in WaMu stock. Ahmanson quickly increased their bids but the bids were also rejected. Great Western approved the merger with WaMu in June and the merger was completed in July. As part of its merger agreement, it was originally announced that Great Western offices would be allowed to keep the Great Western name and there were later discussion of converting the American Savings offices to the Great Western brand. In the end, it was felt that it was best for the company to have only one brand throughout the nation instead of multiple regional brands so it was announce in December 1997 that both Great Western and American names would be retired in favor of the WaMu name. The previous month, it was announced in November that 85 redundant branch offices were identified in California and were to be closed within the following year. Before the merger was complete, WaMu had a total of 413 branch operating under various names across the country while Great Western had 416 branch offices operating in California and Florida.
In March 1998, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Irwindale-based H. F. Ahmanson & Company with its Home Savings of America subsidiary for approximately $10 billion in stock. The acquisition was completed in October 1998 for only $6.9 billion in stock. Before the merger was complete, WaMu had a total of 892 branch operating under various names (WaMu, American Savings, Great Western, etc.) across the country while Home Savings had 409 branch offices operating in California and Texas. A few days after the completion of the merger, WaMu announced plans to close 161 branch offices in California.
Through the 1998 acquisition of Home Savings, WaMu had gained 48 branch offices in Texas.
In August 2000, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Houston-based Bank United Corporation with its 155 branch offices, all located in Texas, for $1.49 billion in stock. The acquisition was completed in February 2001.
As a result of branch overlap between Bank United and WaMu, 17 branch offices were closed in Texas, 10 of which were in Houston. 
In June 2001, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the New York City-based Dime Bancorp with its Dime Savings Bank subsidiary for $5.2 billion in cash and stock. The acquisition was completed in January 2002. Dime had 123 branch offices in the New York City area of both New York and New Jersey.
With a thrift charter, there were a few things that WaMu was not able to do until it was able to obtain a commercial bank charter, such as making commercial loans above a certain size. To get around this problem, WaMu began to purchase commercial banks and maintain them as separate business entities. In August 1995, WaMu acquired the one office Bellevue-based Enterprise Bank in Washington. A few months later, WaMu acquired the 41 office Coos Bay-based Western Bank in Oregon. By 1997, the Enterprise name and Western Bank name were merged and operated under Western Bank moniker.
After WaMu expanded into California through the acquisitions of American Savings, Great Western, and Home Savings, WaMu quietly acquired the one-office Industrial Bank in the Van Nuys neighborhood of Los Angeles an undisclosed amount in 1999 and renamed it WM Business Bank.
By 2001, WaMu had 38 specialized business banking centers operating under the Western Bank name in the Northwest and the WM Business Bank name in California when they decided to exit their ill-fated venture into the commercial banking market that was then dominated with the likes of Wells Fargo and Bank of America.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, WaMu decided to aggressively expand in the subprime mortgage lending field through the acquisition of existing mortgage companies at a time when other financial institutions were leaving.
In May 1999, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Orange, California-based Long Beach Financial Corporation with its Long Beach Mortgage Company subsidiary for $350.4 million in cash and stock. The acquisition was completed in October 1999. Long Beach had specialized in providing subprime mortgages. Some of Long Beach's questionable business practices may have led to WaMu's failure in 2008.
In January 2000, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Los Angeles-based Alta Residential Mortgage Trust for $23 million.
In October 2000, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Vernon Hills, Illinois-based PNC Mortgage Corporation and PNC Mortgage Securities Corporation from the PNC Financial Services Group for $605 million in cash. The acquisition was completed in February 2001. The result of the PNC Mortgage acquisition made WaMu the nation's third-largest lender.
In April 2001, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Columbia, South Carolina-based Fleet Mortgage Corporation from FleetBoston Financial for $660 million in cash. The acquisition was completed in June 2001. The result of the Fleet Mortgage acquisition made WaMu the nation's second-largest mortgage-servicing business.
In December 2001, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Jacksonville, Florida-based HomeSide Lending, Inc. from the National Australia Bank for $1.9 billion. The agreement did not include the mortgage servicing rights and related financial hedges for the business. The acquisition was completed in March 2002. In August 2002, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the rest of HomeSide that included the mortgage servicing rights on a mortgage portfolio worth about $131 billion for $1.3 billion in cash and the assumption of $735 million in debt. The acquisition was completed in October 2002.
In July 2002, the San Mateo, California-based Bay View Capital Corporation announced the pending sale of the mortgage loan portfolio for its Bay View Bank subsidiary to WaMu for a "slight premium to book value". The sale was completed in the following month.
In April 2006, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of the Irvine, California-based Commercial Capital Bancorp, Inc. with its Commercial Capital Bank FSB subsidiary for $983 million in cash. The acquisition was completed in October 2006. Commercial Capital had specialized in loans for the multifamily and small commercial real estate lending markets and was the third largest multifamily lender in California.
In June 2005, WaMu announced the pending acquisition of Providian Financial Corporation, tenth-largest credit-card issuer in the country, for $6.45 billion in stock and cash. The acquisition was completed in June 2005.
Prior to this acquisition, WaMu had their credit cards initially issued by Associates National Bank and later Citibank South Dakota, N.A. and was one of the largest banking organization that did not issue its own credit cards. In 2005, chairman and chief executive officer Kerry Killinger said that lack of company-issued credit cards was a "major hole in our product line." Credit cards were not mentioned on their website nor in their published annual reports as an available service offered by their company prior to 2001.
Chairman and CEO Kerry Killinger had pledged in 2003: "We hope to do to this industry what Wal-Mart did to theirs, Starbucks did to theirs, Costco did to theirs and Lowe's, Home Depot did to their industry. And I think if we've done our job, five years from now you're not going to call us a bank."
Killinger's goal was to build WaMu into the "Wal-Mart of Banking", which would cater to lower- and middle-class consumers that other banks deemed too risky. Complex mortgages and credit cards had terms that made it easy for the least creditworthy borrowers to get financing, a strategy the bank extended in big cities, including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. WaMu pressed sales agents to approve loans while placing less emphasis on borrowers' incomes and assets. WaMu set up a system that enabled real estate agents to collect fees of more than $10,000 for bringing in borrowers. Variable-rate loans – Option Adjustable Rate Mortgages (Option ARMs) in particular – were especially attractive, because they carried higher fees than other loans and allowed WaMu to book profits on interest payments that borrowers deferred. As WaMu was selling many of its loans to investors, it worried less about defaults.
In December 2007, the subsidiary WaMu Bank reorganized its home-loan division, closing 160 of its 336 home-loan offices and removing 2,600 positions in its home-loan staff (a 22% reduction).
In March 2008, on the same weekend that JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon negotiated the takeover of Bear Stearns, he secretly dispatched members of his team to Seattle to meet with WaMu executives, urging them to consider a quick deal. However, WaMu Chairman and CEO Kerry Killinger rejected JPMorgan Chase's offer that valued WaMu at $8 a share, mostly in stock.
In April 2008, the holding company, responding to losses and difficulties sustained as a result of the 2007–2008 subprime mortgage crisis, announced that 3,000 people companywide would lose their jobs, and the company stated its intent to close its approximately 176 remaining stand-alone, home-loan offices, including 23 in Washington and a loan-processing center in Bellevue, Washington. It stopped buying loans from outside mortgage brokers — known in the trade as "wholesale lending." WaMu also announced a $7 billion infusion of new capital by new outside investors led by TPG Capital. TPG agreed to pump $2 billion into the WaMu holding company; other investors, including some of WaMu's current institutional holders, agreed to buy an additional $5 billion in newly issued stock. This angered many investors, as TPG's investment would dilute the holdings of existing shareholders, and as WaMu executives excluded mortgage losses from computing bonuses.
In June 2008, Kerry Killinger stepped down as the chairman, though remaining the Chief Executive Officer. On September 8, 2008, under pressure from investors, the WaMu holding company's board of directors dismissed Killinger as the CEO. Alan H. Fishman, chairman of mortgage broker Meridian Capital Group, and a former chief operating officer of Sovereign Bank, was named the new CEO for 17 days.
By mid-September 2008, WaMu's share price had closed as low as $2.00. It had been worth over $30.00 in September 2007, and had briefly traded as high as $45 in the previous year. While WaMu publicly insisted it could stay independent, earlier in the month it had quietly hired Goldman Sachs to identify potential bidders. However, several deadlines passed without anyone submitting a bid. At the same time, WaMu suffered a massive run (mostly via electronic banking over the internet and wire transfer); customers pulled out $16.7 billion in deposits in a ten-day span.
This led the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department to step up pressure for WaMu to find a buyer, as a takeover by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) could have been a severe drain on the FDIC insurance fund, which had already been hard hit by the failure of IndyMac that year. The FDIC ultimately held a secret auction of WaMu Bank, which was won by JPMorgan Chase. On the morning of Thursday, September 25 (which happened to be the 119th anniversary of WaMu's establishment), regulators informed officials at JPMorgan Chase that they were the winners.
On Thursday night (shortly after the close of business on the West Coast), the Office of Thrift Supervision seized WaMu Bank and placed it into the receivership of the FDIC. In a statement, the OTS said that the massive run meant that WaMu was no longer sound. The FDIC then sold most of WaMu Bank's assets, including the branch network, to JPMorgan Chase for $1.9 billion. JPMorgan Chase agreed to assume the bank's secured debts and liabilities to depositors. The transaction did not require any FDIC insurance funds. Normally, bank seizures take place after the close of business on Fridays. However, due to the bank's deteriorating condition and leaks that a seizure was imminent, regulators felt compelled to act a day early.
Because JPMorgan Chase bought WaMu's assets for a low price, WaMu's stockholders were nearly wiped out. Its stock price dropped to $0.16 a share, well below its high of a year earlier. In its Chapter 11 filing, WaMu listed assets of $33 billion and debt of $8 billion. (ref. Appendix A). The filing also indicates that enough funds are available for distribution to unsecured creditors.
Within days of the seizure, a hedge fund adviser and investment strategist, Mike Stathis of AVA Investment Analytics, issued a formal complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission, demonstrating evidence of insider trading. The complaint also alleged that WaMu was not insolvent, and several Wall Street firms and hedge funds had conspired to short the stock. He also stated that he spoke with a reporter from the Associated Press who told him that he was contacted by a WaMu executive hours before the seizure, telling the reporter that it would happen for "political reasons." In later criticisms, Stathis discussed that neither the FDIC nor OTS ever disclosed any evidence of WaMu's insolvency. Stathis stated that within a few weeks of submitting his complaint, he was visited by federal agents who held him in an interrogation room for questioning. As a result of this, Stathis stated that he felt bullied and did not release the SEC complaint into the public domain until a year later.
Shareholders fought what they considered the illegal seizure of WaMu through such websites as WaMuCoup.com[dead link] and others, claiming that the OTS acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner and seized the bank for political reasons or for the benefit of JPMorgan Chase, which acquired a large network of branches at what they claim to be an unfairly low price. Shareholders claimed that as of the date of the takeover, the bank had enough liquidity to meet all its obligations and was in compliance with the business plan negotiated with the OTS 2 weeks earlier and that the holding company's board and management was kept completely in the dark about the government's negotiations with Chase, hampering the bank's ability to sell itself on its own. Chief executive Alan H. Fishman was flying from New York to Seattle on the day the bank was closed, and eventually received a $7.5 million sign-on bonus and cash severance of $11.6 million (which he declined) after being CEO for 17 days. Senator Maria Cantwell demanded an explanation from the government and threatened to open an investigation and WaMu's former shareholders have threatened a lawsuit demanding compensation for the lost value of their shares.
The seizure of WaMu Bank resulted in the largest bank failure in American financial history, dwarfing the failure of Continental Illinois in 1984.
On September 26, 2008, WaMu, Inc., and its remaining subsidiary, WMI Investment Corp., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. WaMu, Inc., was promptly delisted from trading on the New York Stock Exchange, and commenced trading via Pink Sheets. The bankruptcy was the second major filing in as many weeks, after the Lehman Brothers filing eleven days earlier; both bankruptcies far outpaced WorldCom's 2002 filing, which had held the record with just under $104 billion in assets (WaMu's alone, which was approximately half that of Lehman Brothers, was three times as much as WorldCom's).
All assets but only some liabilities (including deposits, covered bonds, and other secured debt) of WaMu Bank were assumed by JPMorgan Chase. Under the deal, JPMorgan Chase acquired all the banking operations of WaMu, including $307 billion in assets and $188 billion in deposits, for a price of $1.9 billion plus debt assumptions. Unsecured senior debt obligations of the bank were not assumed by JPMorgan Chase, leaving holders of those obligations with little meaningful source of recovery. On the morning of September 26, WaMu Bank customers were informed that all deposits held by WaMu were now liabilities of JPMorgan Chase.
The IRS claimed $12.5 billion in back taxes from WaMu, Inc. The company filed court papers on January 22, 2009 alleging losses were $20 billion, and the company requested that it pay nothing of the tax debt, stating that the IRS could owe WaMu Inc. a tax refund. In a 2010 settlement between Wash. Mutual Inc. (in receivership), the FDIC, and JPMorgan Chase, a tax refund of about US$5.7 billion will be shared between Wash. Mutual Inc., JPMorgan Chase and FDIC.
WaMu, Inc., sued the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for US$13 billion after the sale of its banking operations to JPMorgan Chase. WMI attorneys claim the bank did not get fair value for the bank, and multiple subsidiaries belonging to the parent company were taken.
On January 11, 2010, the United States Department of Justice, Office of the United States Trustee, District of Delaware, pursuant to Section 1102(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code, appointed a Committee of Equity Security Holders to represent all shareholders of both preferred and common stock. All of the Motions to Disband the Committee of Equity Security Holders were denied on January 28, 2010 by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary F. Walrath, District of Delaware.
On July 20, 2010, bankruptcy judge Mary Walrath approved a motion of the EC for an examiner to investigate potential legal claims and assets of WMI, handing a victory to shareholders. The Judge directed the examiner to investigate not just the legal settlement with the FDIC and JPMorgan Chase at the heart of WaMu's reorganization, but also all potential claims and assets that are part of the settlement or that will be retained by the company.
On July 26, 2010, U.S. Trustee Roberta A. DeAngelis appointed veteran bankruptcy examiner and McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP partner Joshua R. Hochberg to conduct a probe into the proposed settlement between WMI, JPMorgan Chase and the FDIC. Hochberg is a partner in McKenna Long & Aldridge's Washington office whose practice focuses on individual and corporate white collar defense, internal investigations and compliance.
On August 10, 2010, the bankruptcy judge rejected WaMu Inc.'s effort to obtain personal financial information from shareholders demanding that the company schedule an annual meeting. Attorneys for the EC said that WMI was simply trying to delay scheduling a shareholder meeting by seeking personal information. The judge agreed that WMI was not entitled to the information.
On November 1, 2010, examiner Joshua R. Hochberg from McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP presented his long-awaited report, but it did not meet the expectations of the court, since the report was based on unsworn interviews and confidential attorney-client work. On December 12, the court decided to exclude the examiner's report during the plan confirmation hearings, saying it can't be considered expert testimony or submitted as evidence unless it is subject to questioning to determine the basis of its conclusions.
On January 7, 2011, the bankruptcy court rejected the 6th proposed plan of reorganization, which was proposed by the debtors and their lawyers from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Judge Mary Walrath focused many of her criticisms on the company's releases of liability granted to directors, officers and others including some hedge funds, who she said did not contribute anything to the settlement. She noted for example that shareholders, who will likely get nothing, should not have to release the company's board from the threat of being sued by them. However, many WaMu shareholders believe there will be a significant recovery when WaMu emerges from bankruptcy.
On September 14, 2011, the court also rejected the modified 6th proposed plan of reorganization. Judge Mary F. Walrath wrote that four hedge funds that had played a role in WaMu's restructuring might have received confidential information that could have been used to trade improperly in the bank's debt. The four hedge funds are Appaloosa Management, Aurelius Capital Management, Centerbridge Partners and Owl Creek Asset Management.
A seventh plan of reorganization was announced in February 2012 and the company finally emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy the following month as WMI Holdings Corporation. By 2015, WMI Holdings was able to raise $598 million and was looking for new acquisitions.
During 2009, all of the WaMu Bank branches that had been purchased from the FDIC after the bank had been placed into receivership, were rebranded to Chase or shuttered. All financial documents issued by WaMu were changed to carry the Chase logo. Credit and debit cards issued by WaMu or Providian were changed to carry the Chase logo.
The transition to Chase began in early 2009, when Chase ATMs became accessible for WaMu customers at no extra charge. All branches and accounts were formally merged in 2009 as the WaMu brand was retired. Branches in the Pacific Northwest, Idaho, and Utah were rebranded in May 2009; branches in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Illinois, and Greater New York were rebranded in July 2009, and the remaining branches in Nevada, California, Arizona, and Colorado were rebranded in October 2009. The last rebrandings formally retired the WaMu name.
In markets where Chase already had a dominant presence, such as Greater New York and Chicago (owing to the presence of Chase and predecessor Bank One), Chase further disposed of such branches to other banks. In New York, for instance, the acquisition resulted in Chase branches located on the same block as WaMu branches.
This advertising campaign was introduced between 2005 and 2007. Numerous WaMu commercials showed traditionally-dressed 60-70-year-old overweight bankers laughing out loud at a WaMu representative (who is much younger and fitter), who says the words "Free Checking Account".
WaMu introduced an advertising campaign during the 2003 Academy Awards known as "The Power of Yes". This was to promote the offering of loans to all consumers, particularly borrowers that the banks deemed too risky. Another commercial in the ad series showed WaMu representatives in casual clothes, contrasting with traditionally-dressed bankers in suits.
"Whoo hoo!" was an advertising campaign introduced by WaMu in February 2008. As fears of an economic crisis were rising, and WaMu was looking to become an "iconic brand that people love", they began courting consumers with a new slogan, designed to position WaMu as a consumer-friendly institution.
During its run, the Whoo hoo! ads, created by TBWA\Chiat\Day of Playa del Rey, California, become widespread in web navigation. After WaMu launched the new advertisement, there was double digit growth at its website and the term "wamu" appeared in searches over 1,000% more between January and March than in all of 2007.
WaMu (before the bank's September 2008 conservatorship and sale to JPMorgan Chase) applied to register a trademark in the phrase. Initially, the bank wanted to use "woo hoo" (without the "h" in the first word) as the slogan, but they were concerned because of the existing use of the phrase by Homer Simpson, a character in The Simpsons.
WaMu introduced a unique branch design known as Occasio which eliminated traditional teller windows and queuing stanchions in favor of an open, circular floor plan with a greeter or "concierge" position and tellers working from behind podiums. The Occasio design was introduced in 2000 and patented in 2004, but was phased out following the JPMorgan Chase acquisition of WaMu's retail banking operations.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank of Seattle, said it has purchased Murphey-Favre Inc., a brokerage firm in Spokane. for cash. The amount wasn't disclosed. Washington Mutual is the state's largest mutual savings bank.Alternate Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank said it filed a preliminary offering with the Supervisor of Banking covering the offering of common shares as it converts from a mutual to a stock savings bank, through underwriters led by Salomon Brothers.Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank's offering of 2.8 million common shares was priced at $12.50 a share, through Salomon Brothers.Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Kerry Killinger today announced the completion of the reorganization of Washington Mutual Savings Bank into a holding company structure. The new financial services holding company is called Washington Mutual, Inc. (Nasdaq: WAMU)... In the reorganization, all outstanding shares of Washington Mutual Savings Bank stock were converted to shares of stock of Washington Mutual, Inc. Washington Mutual's common stock will continue to be reported on the Nasdaq National Market under the stock symbol "WAMU." Also as part of the reorganization, Washington Mutual Savings Bank has become Washington Mutual Bank, a subsidiary of Washington Mutual, Inc... Washington Mutual, Inc. is a holding company for both banking and nonbanking subsidiaries. These organizations provide consumer banking, full service securities brokerage, mutual fund management, travel and insurance underwriting services. At Sept. 30, 1994, the predecessor of Washington Mutual, Inc. had consolidated assets of $17.8 billion and operated more than 250 financial centers and home loan centers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank said it formed a holding company named Washington Mutual Inc. Shares outstanding of the thrift institution were converted into shares of the new company. The name of the company's main banking subsidiary has been changed to Washington Mutual Bank.Alternate Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank said it signed a letter of intent to buy three branches from United Mutual Savings Bank, also of Tacoma, for $3,250,000.Alternate Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
An agreement has been reached for the Washington Mutual Savings Bank of Seattle to acquire the Lincoln Mutual Savings Bank of Spokane, Wash., the companies said... Two Lincoln branches, in Bellevue and Kent, Wash., will be sold to United Bank of Tacoma, Wash., for an estimated $4.5 million. Washington Mutual, which went public last year, is the third largest financial institution in the state, with assets of $3.4 billion. Lincoln has assets of $480 million.Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank said it agreed to merge with Lincoln Mutual Savings Bank of Spokane, Wash... Washington Mutual has about 1,000 employees and 39 branches, mostly in western Washington. Lincoln currently employs about 170 and has 16 branches mostly in eastern Washington.Alternate Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank announced Saturday that it has reached a definitive agreement to buy Columbia Federal Savings Bank of Wenatchee for about $40 million.
Faster than you can say mergers and acquisitions, Washington Mutual Savings Bank added two new friends of the family. The state's third-largest financial institution, which keys its advertising off the friends of the family theme, in less than 48 hours said it was acquiring both Wenatchee-based Columbia Federal Savings Bank and north Seattle's Shoreline Savings Bank... Washington Mutual has 50 branches. Shoreline operates 15 branches, Columbia Federal has 12. An earlier agreement in which Shoreline would sell three branches to Washington Mutual was vetoed by regulators, ostensibly because it would have further weakened the ailing institution. The Columbia Federal acquisition would give Washington Mutual its first significant presence in Central Washington. It obtained a strong Eastern Washington foothold in 1985 when it acquired Spokane-based Lincoln Mutual Savings Bank.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank continued its acquisition spree yesterday by agreeing to buy Shoreline Savings Bank for about $7.5 million. Washington Mutual on Saturday reached an agreement to buy Columbia Federal Savings Bank of Wenatchee for about $40 million. Washington Mutual, the third largest financial institution in Washington state with $5.6 billion in assets, said the Shoreline deal would give it branches in areas where it wants to increase its presence. Shoreline has 15 branches in the North Puget Sound area including Seattle. In addition, the Columbia Federal deal would add $384 million in assets and the Shoreline purchase $396 million in assets to Washington Mutual.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank today will merge two recent acquisitions, Columbia Federal Savings Bank and Shoreline Savings Bank, to form a new subsidiary. The new subsidiary will operate under the Columbia Federal Savings Bank name, but Shoreline signs will remain at former Shoreline branches for an indefinite period, officials said. Joseph Evans, a Columbia senior vice president, was named president of the new 26-branch subsidiary. Deposits will be insured by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. After the merger, Washington Mutual Financial Group will have 76 branches, which can be used by customers of Washington Mutual Savings Bank and Columbia Federal. Washington Mutual's assets will increase to $6.2 billion from $5.5 billion. The Seattle-based savings bank paid about $39 million, or $17.53 a share, for Columbia Federal, and $7.5 million, or $5 a share, for Shoreline.
Old Stone Corp. Thursday announced the signing of a definitive agreement to sell its Washington state retail division, Old Stone Bank of Washington, to Washington Mutual, a Federal Savings Bank. Originally named Citizens Federal Savings and Loan Association, Old Stone Bank of Washington was acquired with federal assistance by Old Stone Corp. at the end of the 1985.Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank announced yesterday it has agreed to purchase Old Stone Bank of Washington, a subsidiary of Old Stone Corp. of Providence, R.I.. In addition, Washington Mutual will acquire all seven Seattle/Tacoma area branch offices of Old Stone. The Rhode Island bank moved into the area in 1985 when it bought money-losing Citizens Federal Savings and Loan Association and renamed it Old Stone Bank of Washington.
The Federal Home Loan Bank Board approved the acquisition of ailing Citizens Savings & Loan Association, Seattle, by Old Stone Corp., a Providence, R.I., thrift holding company. Citizens, a mutual thrift with $477.4 million in assets, was converted to a federally chartered stock savings bank, Old Stone Bank of Washington, effective yesterday. Old Stone Corp. has $3.7 billion in assets. To enable the takeover to occur, the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. will give the new savings bank some cash and indemnify it from certain liabilities and "possible litigation resulting from the acquisition," a Bank Board spokesman said.Alternate Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Old Stone Corp. Thursday announced it has completed the sale of its Washington state retail division, Old Stone Bank of Washington, to Washington Mutual, a federal savings bank, a subsidiary of Seattle-based Washington Mutual Savings Bank, for a pre-tax gain of approximately $10 million. Old Stone and Washington Mutual reached a definitive purchase agreement on Jan. 25, 1990 and received regulatory approval for the sale from the Office of Thrift Supervision on April 6, 1990.Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Old Stone Corp. said it has completed the sale of its Washington state retail division, Old Stone Bank of Washington, to Washington Mutual for about $10 million... In 1985, Old Stone acquired the troubled bank, which was formerly the Citizens Federal Savings and Loan Association.
Washington Mutual yesterday paid $2.3 million to federal regulators to acquire portions of Frontier Federal Savings and Loan Association in eastern Washington... Frontier's branches in Walla Walla, Pullman, Kennewick, Richland and Dayton will open under Washington Mutual's management on Monday. Resolution Trust Corp. had managed Frontier since it went into receivership on Feb. 23.
Frontier Federal Savings & Loan Association offices in Eastern Washington will open today as branches of Washington Mutual. Washington Mutual acquired Frontier Federal Friday from the Resolution Trust Corp. for about $1.8 million, once accounting adjustments were made. The RTC had managed Frontier Federal since it went into receivership Feb. 23. Two of the former Frontier branches are in Walla Walla. Others are in Pullman, Kennewick, Richland and Dayton. The Seattle-based federal savings bank will assume Frontier's deposit liabilities of about $91.5 million. Assets include its consumer loan portfolio, options to purchase branch facilities and its residential loan portfolio.
Utah-based Williamsburg Federal Savings and Loan Association... The deal, involving three financial institutions, was announced Friday night by the federal Resolution Trust Corp... Washington Mutual Savings Bank, also of Seattle, bought Williamsburg's three Washington branches for $1.3 million
Washington Mutual Savings Bank's $23.3 million acquisition of VanFed Bancorp was completed late yesterday. VanFed shareholders will receive $19 a share, the companies said. Vancouver, Wash.-based VanFed operates seven branches in the Clark County area.
Washington Mutual said yesterday it has completed its acquisition of Sound Savings and Loan Association of Seattle. The merger was effective as of Wednesday.
The acquisitive Washington Mutual Savings Bank jumped back in the marketplace today, announcing a $64 million cash-and-stock deal for the parent of Bremerton-based Great Northwest Bank. The state's largest residential lender, with assets of $7 billion, said it plans to pay about $24.60 a share for GNW Financial, which has about $700 million in assets.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank plans to buy Great Northwest Bank of Bremerton, and the chairman of the Seattle thrift says his institution's appetite for acquisitions isn't sated yet. The cash-and-stock takeover of Great Northwest's parent, GNW Financial Corp., for $64 million was announced yesterday and is the seventh acquisition by Washington Mutual during 1990 and 1991... Last year, Washington Mutual, the state's largest thrift, signed deals for VanFed BanCorp, the Washington branches of Old Stone Bank, Frontier Federal Savings and Loan in Walla Walla and three offices of Williamsburg Savings and Loan. This year, Washington Mutual has agreed to buy Washington and Oregon branches of CrossLand Savings and Sound Savings and Loan of Seattle.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank completed its purchase of GNW Financial Corp. yesterday and said it will close three of the Bremerton thrift's branches and one of its own. Seattle-based Washington Mutual said the four branches, two in Tacoma and one each in Seattle and Spokane, will be combined with nearby branches. The four branches will be closed June 19. GNW subsidiary Great Northwest Bank had 119 employees working at its 17 branches.
ashington Mutual Savings Bank has agreed to buy two Snohomish County branches of World Savings and Loan Association of America, a subsidiary of Golden West Financial Corp. of Oakland, Calif. The two branches, in Lynnwood and Everett, account for all of World's Washington business.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank yesterday completed the acquisition of about $40 million of deposits at World Savings and Loan Association's Washington branches in Everett and Lynnwood. Its subsidiary, Washington Mutual, a Federal Savings Bank, will continue operations at the two locations. All branch employees were offered continuing employment with Washington Mutual. World Savings retains ownership of its loan centers in Lynnwood and Bellevue. With assets of $7.1 billion, Washington Mutual has $7.1 billion in assets and operates a total of 104 financial centers and 18 home-loan centers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Seattle's Washington Mutual Savings Bank continues to expand by gobbling up competitors in the Puget Sound region. The bank announced late Thursday that it has agreed to buy Pioneer Savings Bank of Lynnwood in a stock-swap deal valued at $181 million... The buyout - which is likely to be completed early next year after federal and shareholder approval - comes less than a year after Washington Mutual's $64 million purchase of Bremerton-based Great Northwest Savings Bank, which added 17 branches. Washington Mutual has also acquired two smaller savings and loan banks this year, which added three new branches. The savings bank's 123 branches would increase to 141 if the Pioneer deal goes through.
All but one of Pioneer's 17 branches are in King and Snohomish... Washington Mutual has 53 locations in King and Snohomish counties, slightly less than half of its total 118 financial centers and 18 home-loan centers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
In one of the Pacific Northwest's biggest financial transactions of its kind, Washington Mutual Savings Bank said today it won the sweepstakes to take control of Pacific First Financial Corp., parent company to Pacific First Bank. The move will make Washington Mutual the second-largest financial institution in Washington and give it a huge initial presence in Oregon. Washington Mutual said it will pay $663 million for the rival institution - both have Seattle headquarters. After the deal is done next May or June, Washington Mutual will be second in size here only to Seafirst Bank. Just three years ago, then publicly held Pacific First was acquired by Royal Trustco of Toronto, Canada, for $212 million. But since then, Royal Trustco has run into problems elsewhere, and decided to abandon its strategy to string branches along the West Coast of the United States. It put Pacific First up for bid.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank has signed a definitive agreement to buy Pacific First Bank from Canada's Royal Trustco Ltd. for $663 million, the companies announced today. Washington Mutual will acquire Pacific First Financial Corp., the holding company for the federal savings bank, from RT Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Royal Trustco. After approval by regulators, the deal is expected to close in mid 1993.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank will buy Pacific First Bank in a deal that cements its position as one of the three leading financial institutions in the Pacific Northwest. It also brings to a somewhat messy and expensive end a foray into the American banking market by Royal Trustco Ltd. of Toronto, parent of Pacific First. While Royal Trustco is giving up its dream of building an American banking empire anchored in Seattle, it will be stuck with hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate loans that are in default or heading that way. And the $663 million acquisition of Pacific First Financial Corp. marks the third major upheaval of banking in Washington in a year, which will mean more sign changes, building closures and potential layoffs for employees. Washington Mutual already has $8.4 billion in assets and 118 branches and 17 loan centers in Washington and Oregon. Pacific First has assets of $6.9 billion, 127 branches in Washington, Oregon and California and eight mortgage offices. It previously agreed to trade its 10 California branches for Great Western Bank's 14 Washington branches. Once the Pacific First deal is completed, Washington Mutual will have assets of about $14 billion... Pacific First is merely the latest in a series of acquisitions Washington Mutual has made in the last few years, including Pioneer Savings in Lynnwood, Great Northwest in Bremerton and VanFed in Vancouver. With Pacific First's branches, Washington Mutual's share of consumer deposits in Washington will be 17.2 percent, ahead of KeyCorp-Puget Sound with 10.3 percent and trailing only Seafirst at 20.4 percent, Tejera said. In Oregon, Washington Mutual will become the fourth biggest in consumer deposits.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank announced the acquisition Monday of Pacific First Financial Corp. and its Seattle- based subsidiary, Pacific First Bank, for an undisclosed sum from RT Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Toronto's Royal Trustco Ltd.
Washington Mutual Bank plans to acquire the 90 percent of Bellevue's Enterprise Bank it doesn't already own, completing a somewhat unusual alliance of a big thrift institution dealing mainly with consumers and a small commercial bank whose focus is business... Enterprise has one office and assets of about $135 million, compared with 260 offices and $19.1 billion for Washington Mutual... Enterprise will operate under Washington Mutual's state savings bank charter but as a separate organization and under its current name.
CrossLand, which acquired Western Savings Association this year...
CrossLand Savings on Wednesday announced plans to install full-service banking branches in Safeway stores in Oregon and Washington. The agreement calls for branches to be installed in 20 stores in the Portland-Vancouver area and eight in the Eugene-Springfield section of the state. The first branches are scheduled to open March 1 in the Safeway store in Raleigh Hills and one in the Esplanade mall in Hillsboro, according to Christopher J. Sumner, president of the savings bank. All will be operating by December 1990, the savings bank said... CrossLand has seven full-service branches in the Portland metropolitan area that were picked up when it acquired Western Savings.
Federal regulators Thursday announced the acquisition of insolvent savings and loans in Salem and Vancouver, Wash., by Pacific First Financial Corp. of Tacoma. The insolvent institutions are American Home Savings Bank of Salem and Community First Federal Savings. Both have been under federal supervision for more than a year and have substantial negative net worth. The two thrifts were closed by regulators Thursday and will open under Pacific First ownership Friday where business will be conducted without interruption. The institutions were acquired through a wholly owned subsidiary of Pacific First Federal Savings Bank and will be operated as Pacific First Bank... The twin acquisition will expand Pacific First's operations in Oregon and the Portland market. It already has 11 branches in Portland and Eugene, and it will pick up nine more from Community in the Portland area and 17 American Home offices in the mid-Willamette Valley. It will also get seven Community branches in the Vancouver area.
When Pacific First Financial Corp. shuts down the last remnant of the former Willamette Savings and Loan Dec. 7, it will have laid off about 150 former Willamette employees. At the time Seattle-based Pacific First acquired Willamette in June from the federal Resolution Trust Corp.
Pacific First Bank, a Seattle-based thrift, has quietly become the largest holder of deposits among all thrifts operating in Oregon. It also operates 78 branches in Oregon, more than any other thrift. Its rise has been due, in part, to turmoil in the thrift industry that has led to deposit declines at competitors and the shift of one large thrift to a bank. Pacific First had $1.1 billion in deposits at its Oregon branches at the end of 1989. A year later, deposits had grown to $2.3 billion. It now holds about 27 percent of the thrift market in Oregon and about 9 percent of the combined thrift and bank market. The next-largest Oregon thrift is Far West Federal Bank with $1.3 billion in deposits... Pacific First has been serving Oregonians since 1936, but it had only a few branches until December 1988, when it bought 17 branches of Salem-based American Home Savings. One year later the thrift was acquired by Toronto, Canada-based Royal Trustco, Canada's largest trust company, which injected $100 million of capital into the thrift and set it on an aggressive expansion course. Pacific First acquired the 45 branches of Willamette Savings and Loan in June and added the 12 Oregon branches of the Williamsburg Federal Savings and Loan Association in September. Some recently acquired branches have been closed, leaving the thrift with 78 Oregon branches spread throughout the state, but principally in the Portland metropolitan area and the Willamette Valley.
The Canadian parent corporation of Pacific First Financial Corp. is considering selling the savings bank in a move that could affect employees in 71 Oregon branches. Royal Trustco Ltd. of Toronto is holding discussions with a number of financial institutions, Pacific First announced in a statement from the bank's Seattle headquarters.
Washington Mutual Inc. said today it will expand its presence in Oregon by acquiring Western Bank of Coos Bay, the second-largest independent commercial bank in the Northwest, after U.S. Bancorp. Western Bank, which operates 41 offices in 33 Oregon communities, had assets of $780.1 million at the end of September.
In a deal that will both expand it geographically and diversify its lines of business, Washington Mutual Inc. said yesterday it has an agreement to buy Western Bank of Coos Bay, Ore... Western Bank has 41 offices in 33 Oregon communities, so the acquisition will add to Washington Mutual's 72 branches in that state. It also adds 20 towns Washington Mutual isn't already in. Washington Mutual is already the leading residential real estate lender in Oregon. But the deal also increases Washington Mutual's reach into the commercial banking market. Washington Mutual has traditionally emphasized the thrift business, which means home mortgage and consumer loans. Western, being a commercial bank, focuses on lending to small- and medium-sized businesses. Commercial banking is a business Washington Mutual has been increasingly interested in. Last month it wrapped up a deal to acquire the 90 percent of Bellevue's Enterprise Bank it didn't already own. Like Enterprise, Western Bank will continue to operate under its existing name and management.
Washington Mutual Inc. said it intends to acquire Coos Bay-based Western Bank for between $144 million and $169 million. If it completes its surprise purchase, Washington Mutual will jump past Bank of America and Key Bank to become the third-largest bank in Oregon in both deposits, $2.6 billion, and the number of branches, 114... Most of Western's 41 branches are in Southern Oregon. It has only a single branch in the metropolitan area, in Beaverton. Washington Mutual, on the other hand, has 42 branches in and around Portland.
Washington Mutual, principally a savings-bank company, says it has completed the acquisition of Western Bank of Coos Bay, Ore., a commercial bank... Western will be part of Washington Mutual's commercial banking group. Western has 42 offices in 35 Oregon communities. Its assets total $787 million.
Western Bank, once a model of community banking, will disappear from the state's landscape this weekend. Workers are changing signs at 30 of the bank's remaining 31 branches. The branches will close Friday and re-open Tuesday as Washington Mutual offices. The exception is the 300 E. Main St. branch in Medford that will be abandoned.
Washington Mutual will expand into Southwest Idaho, as its federal savings bank subsidiary builds the Boise area's first full-service bank branches inside Fred Meyer stores.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank said yesterday it plans to open a loan office and three in-store branches in the Boise area this year, its first venture into that market. Seattle-based Washington Mutual already operates 68 in-store locations in Washington and Oregon, in addition to 162 free-standing branches. The Idaho branches will open in July and August and will be located in Fred Meyer stores.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank recently opened two in-store Boise branches and plans to open a third early next month, all inside Fred Meyer stores.Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Washington Mutual will open its new Moscow Financial Center Monday inside the Rosauers grocery at 409 N. Main St... The Moscow bank is the Seattle-based company's first venture into northern Idaho, although it has three other branches in the state.
Washington Mutual Inc., Seattle, Wednesday completed its acquisition of United Western Financial Group Inc. of Salt Lake City. Plans to acquire the privately held company and its subsidiaries, which include United Savings Bank and Western Mortgage Loan Corp., were announced in early September. The final purchase price, paid in cash, was approximately $79.5 million. Conversion of deposit accounts is expected to take place around midyear, with loan accounts to follow. United Savings Bank operated nine branches, seven of them in the Salt Lake City area. The other two offices are in St. George and Idaho Falls.
Among big banks serving southwest Idaho, Seattle-based Washington Mutual seems unique in that it is growing the old-fashioned way - by constructing standalone branch offices... In the early 1990s, Washington Mutual entered the southwest Idaho market with branches inside area Fred Meyer grocery and department stores... WAMU has nine offices of various types in the Boise area.Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Washington Mutual Savings Bank said yesterday it is joining the parade of banks and thrifts marching into Utah by buying an eight-office company in the Beehive State. Along with the acquisition come two branches in Butte, Mont., another new state for Washington Mutual. But Chairman Kerry Killinger said he doesn't know yet whether Washington Mutual will keep, expand or sell that operation. Washington Mutual will pay about $52.1 million in stock for Olympus Capital Corp., the holding company for Olympus Bank. The deal should be closed by early 1995. Olympus operates five branches in Salt Lake City, two in Ogden and one in Provo.
Washington Mutual Inc. said it has signed an agreement to acquire Utah Federal Savings Bank, based in Ogden. Utah Federal, with $122.6 million in assets, has five branches and three loan offices. Washington Mutual already has 16 branches and one loan office in the state, having moved into Utah in 1995. Washington Mutual didn't give a purchase price for Utah Federal, which isn't a publicly traded company.
Washington Mutual said it completed the acquisition of Ogden-based Utah Federal Savings Bank... Washington Mutual acquired the Utah bank for $43.79 a share, or $15.2 million. With Utah Federal, Washington Mutual operates 19 branches and four home-loan centers in Utah.
Washington Mutual Inc. said it will add to its branch network in Utah with the acquisition of Western Financial Group Inc. of Salt Lake City for $80.3 million in cash. Western Financial is the parent of United Savings Bank, with eight branches in Utah and one in Idaho, and Western Mortgage Loan, with seven offices in Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and Montana. Washington Mutual, with 16 offices already in Utah, also has a deal pending to acquire Utah Federal Savings in Ogden. It said completing both deals would make Washington Mutual one of the largest residential mortgage lenders in the state.
Glacier previously announced a definitive agreement to acquire two branches in Butte, Montana from Washington Mutual Bank. That deal is expected to close in October of 1999 and will add approximately $80 million in deposits.
In an acquisition that will virtually double the size of the savings bank the day it is completed, Seattle-based Washington Mutual said it will acquire Keystone Holdings Inc. and its subsidiary, American Savings Bank of Irvine, Calif., in a stock deal worth about $1.4 billion, based on yesterday's closing price... In addition, because American's loan portfolio is heavily weighted toward adjustable rate mortgages, the acquisition helps Washington Mutual reduce its vulnerability to interest rate swings... The third attraction for investors is the presence of billionaire investor Robert Bass, who bought into American Savings when it was taken over by the government and reorganized in 1988. He assures me he has totally bought into the business plan. We believe he will be a good long-term shareholder, Killinger said of Bass. Bass will name two additional members to Washington Mutual's board, although Killinger said it's not likely Bass himself will serve... Washington Mutual, already at $22 million in assets, will grow to more than $42 million. It already operates 248 branches in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho and Montana. American Savings will add 158 branches in California... A new shareholder in Washington Mutual will be the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which as part of the bailout of American holds about a third of the company. The FDIC is expected to sell those shares.
Washington Mutual Inc., a Seattle financial services firm, said Monday it will buy American Savings Bank and its parent company in a stock for stock transaction worth $3.5 billion. Irvine-based American Savings Bank will keep its name, and officials said they expect all branches to remain open, officials said... Washington Mutual, which owns a network of banks, is the No. 1 residential mortgage originator in Washington and Oregon. American Savings is California's second largest home-mortgage originator. The deal gives Washington Mutual its first presence in California, allowing an immediate foothold in key locations that will solidify its West Coast position... Robert M. Bass and his investor group control Keystone Holdings Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas, the parent company of American Savings. After the acquisition, Keystone will be merged into Washington Mutual. The investor group will get 26 million of the 48 million shares to be issued by Washington Mutual in the merger. With total outstanding shares of 117.5 million, the group's share amounts to a 22 percent ownership in the new company, with Bass holding an 8 percent stake. About 14 million of the new shares will go to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which will sell them after the merger. The rest will be held in escrow pending the outcome of a Keystone lawsuit against the federal government. Washington Mutual also will assume Keystone's $365 million of debt and $80 million in outstanding preferred stock. Mario Antoci, American Savings' chairman and CEO, will retire after the deal closes. Post-merger management changes have not been finalized. Antoci took over American Savings in 1988, when the Bass Group bought it. American Savings Bank was originally part of American Savings and Loan, a failed thrift that led to the largest savings and loan bailout in history. The original thrift was divided into two parts: American Savings Bank controlled the profitable assets and loans while the other unit was liquidated. American Savings Bank has 220 branches in California and Arizona. Washington Mutual has 317 branches in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana.
An investment group led by Fort Worth billionaire Robert M. Bass cashed in on a $400 million investment in California's American Savings yesterday, selling the thrift it acquired less than eight years ago. The deal was valued at more than $1.6 billion. Washington Mutual Inc., the parent of one of Washington state's largest savings banks, agreed to acquire the thrift for at least 40 million shares of Washington Mutual stock. That stock was worth slightly more than $1.2 billion at Friday's closing price. Washington Mutual will also assume $465 million in debt as part of the deal... Bass made his investment through Keystone Holdings, in which he owns about 36 percent. In 1988, Keystone acquired American Savings from the federal government, which had seized the thrift in 1984. Keystone invested $350 million in cash into American Savings and spent another $50 million in expenses to buy the institution, which at the time was America's biggest insolvent thrift. Keystone installed Mario J. Antoci, a respected thrift executive, to run American Savings. The thrift, stripped of its most troubled assets, immediately started making money... The Keystone group will also name two members of Washington Mutual's 13-person board, suggesting that the group is likely to retain its interest in the company.
Washington Mutual Inc. said Monday that it has completed its $2.05 billion acquisition of American Savings Bank. American, California's second-biggest mortgage lender, will continue to operate under its old name. The merger doubles the size of Seattle-based Washington Mutual. The combined bank has $43 billion in assets, $24 billion in deposits and 500 branches in nine Western states. Washington Mutual, which had no presence in California before the merger, will seek more acquisitions in the state.
Washington Mutual completed its $2.05 billion acquisition of Irvine, Calif.-based American Savings Bank, giving the Seattle institution a major presence in California... Washington Mutual bought American Savings from majority holder Keystone Holdings and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which has owned a stake in American for eight years. The acquisition creates an institution with assets of $43 billion, deposits of $24 billion and more than 500 offices in nine Western states.
Hoping to marry the nation's two largest savings and loans into a financial powerhouse, the corporate parent of Home Savings of America has offered to buy Great Western Financial Corp. in a deal valued at nearly $6 billion, sources close to the proposed transaction said late Monday. The unsolicited offer by Irwindale-based H.F. Ahmanson & Co. would form the third-largest financial institution in California--after giant Bank of America and Wells Fargo. It would also result in the closure of more than 100 bank branches and the probable loss of hundreds of jobs, sources said.
Great Western Financial Corp. sought to buy time to fend off H.F. Ahmanson and Co.'s $6.2 billion takeover bid yesterday as its bankers met with potential rival suitors, sources close to Great Western said... Sources said possible bidders that Great Western may have contacted include First Bank System Inc., Washington Mutual Savings Bank and Norwest Corp. Local banking executives and analysts said Washington Mutual is likely to take a close look at a deal for Great Western, and said there are equally strong reasons why the Seattle-based thrift might bid or walk away. On the negative side, Washington Mutual is currently digesting a major California acquisition, a hurry-up deal wouldn't give it time to carefully review the transaction, it wouldn't get the same cost savings Ahmanson would to make the deal attractive, and a bidding war could become expensive.
Washington Mutual Inc. yesterday said it has agreed on a stock deal to acquire Great Western Financial Corp. of Chatsworth, Calif., in a combination that would create an $87.4 billion behemoth, the 12th-largest financial institution in the country... Under the terms of the agreement, Washington Mutual will swap nine-tenths of a share of its stock for each share of Great Western, an offer worth about $6.6 billion based on yesterday's closing prices.
Great Western Financial, moving to thwart a hostile takeover offer by H. F. Ahmanson & Company, said yesterday that it had agreed to be acquired by Washington Mutual for stock worth $6.6 billion in a deal that would create the country's largest savings and loan institution.
Washington Mutual Inc. completed its $8 billion acquisition of Chatsworth-based Great Western Financial Corp. on Wednesday, making it the largest savings and loan in the United States and expanding its presence in the resurgent California market. With the combination, Seattle-based Washington Mutual creates one of the biggest thrifts in the West, with $88.5 billion in assets, $52.5 billion in deposits and more than 1,150 branches in Washington, Oregon, California and Florida. The acquisition of Great Western, the second-largest U.S. thrift, also bolsters Washington Mutual's reputation as one of the most aggressive acquirers in the industry. Washington Mutual has completed 22 acquisitions and multiplied its assets more than twentyfold in 14 years.
Washington Mutual Inc., which yesterday became the largest savings institution in the country, could be ready to do a deal for another thrift in nine months or less, the company's chief executive said in an interview yesterday... Seattle-based Washington Mutual doubled its size to $90 billion in assets by buying Great Western Financial Corp., just months after the purchase of another California thrift doubled Washington Mutual to more than $40 billion in assets. Now comes the job of absorbing Great Western, a task complicated by the fact that this deal makes Washington Mutual a true coast-to-coast institution, with the addition of branches in Florida.
Ridding itself of overlapping operations, a Seattle-based thrift said Thursday it would close 85 Great Western and American Savings Bank branches in California and may eventually drop those two nameplates... Washington Mutual will have 365 branches in California after the closures are completed next year, most of them in the second quarter. They will retain their nameplate - either Great Western or American Savings depending on the branch - for the time being. But Washington Mutual officials are rethinking their earlier decision to keep the Great Western name, said Great Western spokesman Tim McGarry.
In a move that would significantly expand Washington Mutual, Inc.'s position in California, Washington Mutual (Nasdaq: WAMU) and Great Western Financial Corporation (NYSE: GWF) today jointly announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement.Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
n a deal that will make an already big bank a huge one, Seattle-based Washington Mutual Inc. said yesterday it will acquire H.F. Ahmanson & Co. in a stock deal worth about $10 billion. The merger will also mean closing 160 to 170 branches and eliminating 3,000 to 3,500 jobs, almost entirely in California.
Washington Mutual, Inc. (Nasdaq: WAMU) and H.F. Ahmanson & Company (NYSE: AHM) today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for Washington Mutual to acquire Ahmanson in a tax-free exchange of common stock. The merger will create the nation's seventh-largest banking company based on total 1997 year-end assets of nearly $150 billion.Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Washington Mutual Inc. agreed to acquire H.F. Ahmanson & Co. in a stock swap valued at $10.03 billion, or $81.69 a share, a transaction that would combine the nation's two largest thrift companies... The combined entity is to retain the Washington Mutual name and headquarters in Seattle. Washington Mutual plans to eliminate 40% of Ahmanson's annual costs, or about $330 million, by the year 2000, closing up to 170 branches and laying off as many as 3,500 employees. Ahmanson is based in Irwindale, Calif... The deal, code-named "Project Grand Slam" by Washington Mutual, came together with startling speed. More than 60 Washington Mutual advisers registered under assumed names at the Doubletree Hotel in Pasadena, Calif., where they pored over Ahmanson's books, according to Philip Erlanger of Lehman Brothers, which advised Washington Mutual.Alternate Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
Seattle-based Washington Mutual, the largest U.S. savings and loan, said it will close 161 branches in California next year to combine outlets too close to each other after its purchase of Home Savings of America. The Seattle-based financial services company said 82 of the branches are Home Savings offices and 79 are Washington Mutual offices. The news follows the completion last week of Washington Mutual's acquisition of Irwindale, Calif.-based H.F. Ahmanson & Co., parent of Home Savings, for $6.9 billion.
Washington Mutual Inc., looking to make itself as much a major player in Texas banking as it is in Washington and California, yesterday said it will buy a Houston-based company in a $1.5 billion stock deal. Seattle-based Washington Mutual will acquire Bank United Corp., the largest publicly traded Texas-based financial institution. Texas was something of an incidental market Washington Mutual picked up in its 1998 acquisition of H.F. Ahmanson & Co.; while the real prize in the Ahmanson deal was its huge share of the market in California, it also had 48 branches in Texas, primarily in Houston and Dallas... Bank United will provide that, with 155 branches, including 66 in Houston, 77 in Dallas-Fort Worth and a handful in Midland, Austin and San Antonio.
Bank United, the largest financial institution based in Texas, said yesterday that it agreed to be acquired by Washington Mutual, the nation's biggest savings and loan. The deal, valued at $1.5 billion and expected to close by year's end, will greatly increase Washington Mutual's presence in the state. The Seattle-based institution entered Texas in 1998 with its acquisition of H.F. Ahmanson & Co., parent of Savings of America, and the Bank United merger will give it 3 percent of Texas deposits, according to June 30, 1999, reports, the latest available. Washington Mutual, which ranks No. 8 among all U.S. banks and thrifts, also has a previous Texas connection. In 1995, it acquired American Savings, a California thrift owned by Fort Worth investor Robert M. Bass, who became a major Washington Mutual shareholder as a result of that deal. A Bass lieutenant, Jay Crandall, remains on Washington Mutual's board of directors... Bank United has 155 retail branches in the state, including 77 in North Texas, along with 42 commercial loan offices and 11 other sales offices. Washington Mutual has 48 branches in Texas, including two in Tarrant County... About a dozen Texas branches share overlapping market areas, the companies said. That includes downtown Fort Worth, where two branches are within blocks of each other.
Washington Mutual Inc. of Seattle completed its $2.17 billion merger with Houston-based Bank United Corp. More than 200 retail United Bank branches in Texas will be converted over the next few weeks to branches of Washington Mutual, which operates more than 1,100 retail branches in seven Western states and Florida.
After finalizing the acquisition of locally based Bank United Corp., Washington Mutual Inc. plans to close about 10 Houston-area branches from the combined operation -- including Bank United's corporate headquarters, sources say.
Bank United and Washington Mutual on Tuesday identified 17 Texas bank branches that will close this summer as part of the recently completed merger of the two institutions.
Washington Mutual completed its $5.2 billion cash and stock purchase of Dime Bancorp, giving the largest U.S. savings and loan an entry into the New York market. By purchasing Dime, Seattle-based Washington Mutual gains more than 120 branches in New York and New Jersey.
Dime had $14 billion of deposits in New York and New Jersey at the end of last year.
Washington Mutual broke into the commercial lending business with the August 1995 acquisition of Enterprise Bank in Bellevue. A few months later, it signed an agreement to buy Western Bank in Coos Bay, Ore. The two banks have been consolidated under the name of Western Bank. Jewell hired on in January 1996.Link(subscription required) via ProQuest.
It was so small a deal that Washington Mutual Inc. didn't even bother putting out an announcement about it. For a company with $166 billion in assets and offices from coast to coast, the acquisition of Industrial Bank of Van Nuys, Calif., which has one office and $30 million in assets, created hardly a ripple. But the significance of the acquisition was not in the numbers, or Washington Mutual wouldn't have bothered making it. For Washington Mutual, Industrial Bank is a way to boost its often overlooked but growing commercial banking business in California.
Hoping to further expand its business banking operations in California, Seattle-based Washington Mutual has acquired Industrial Bank, a $30 million institution with one branch in Van Nuys.
Credit cards issued by Associates National Bank.
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