Washington Mutual

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox Company

Despite its name, Washington Mutual Template:Nyse 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).

Founded as the Washington National Building Loan and Investment Association on 25 September 1889, 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.

Missing image
Washingtonmutualtorrance.jpg
A Washington Mutual bank branch in Torrance, California

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

Recent Troubles Despite Record Profits

Washington Mutual has been trouble with its mortgage lending business. In particular, it failed to adequately integrate the computer systems of its many acquisitions, resulting in the inability to process loans. They still operate using four entirely separate computer systems and have been losing hundreds of millions of dollars as a result. The gridlock has resulted in generating turn around times exceeding 90 days. During this time they have been suffering the losses in mortgages despite what many industry leaders consider to be something that is relatively simple and straight forward, simply take the data from the four systems and integrate them into a single system. Many brokers have stated that they no longer broker for Washington Mutual and have lost loans because of the gridlock. The gridlock continues as of 11 May 2005.

Washington Mutual as a company has done well since June of 2000. In April of 2000 many leading business writers feel was the actual month bubble burst in technology stocks. Many analysts believe our current recovery is driven by the Mortgage Industry. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America Mortgage Bankers Association of America the (http://www.mbaa.org) market in the second quarter of 2000 in combined purchase and refinance mortgages was 293 billion dollars. It peaked during the third quarter of 2003 2.03 trillion dollars. During this time Washington Mutual followed World Savings in promoting a new home mortgage in the United States called the "Pick a Payment". It has been the most successful mortgage product in the residential home mortgage market history.

Many analysts believe it is what is currently fueling the record number of loan originations despite a 2% rate increse in Federal Funds Rate also known as the (COFI) or (11th District Cost of Funds Rate) which is one of the key indexes used in determining the interest rate on adjustable rate mortgags (ARMs). Now most major lenders have versions of this loan pioneered by World Savings and Washington Mutual. Washington Mutual currently as of 11 May 2005 has a maket capitalization of 36.41 Billion according to Yahoo Finance (http://finance.yahoo.com). During the quarter ending 31 March 2005 they origated 47 Billion in home loans. Their stock price has ranged from below $20 in May 2000 to over $41.60 11 May 2005. Even though Washington Mutual is suffering huge losses due to its inability to integrate all of it's acquired mortgage businesses their stock performance remains strong. It has only been through complaints, poor ratings and unfavorable reviews that substantiate the reported problems about the Mortgage Division of Washington Mutual.

External links

Corporate websites:
http://www.wamu.com/
http://www.wamuhomeloans.com/

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