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Another Wave of WaMu Layoffs

1,200 layoffs disclosed

June 19, 2008

By MortgageDaily.com staff

Washington Mutual Inc. is eliminating more than a thousand jobs -- including mortgage positions.

In an effort to restore shareholder value, the company is taking steps that include eliminating 1,200 jobs nationally, spokeswoman Olivia Riley said in a statement to MortgageDaily.com. The steps are being taken to improve expense management, increase efficiency, and accelerate a return to profitability.

"We are focusing on four key priorities: maintaining ample capital and liquidity; tightly managing our credit; strengthening our retail delivery of products in our stores, online and on the phone, and; managing our expenses very tightly while still providing top-notch customer service and maintaining strong controls," she explained. "We will continue to refine our business by cutting expenses and sharpening our focus on mission-critical activities as needed to manage through the current environment and we'll continue to invest our resources in growth areas."

Shares of WaMu, traded under the symbol WM, closed today at $6.35. They had been as high as $44.04 during the past 52 weeks.

The layoffs focus on positions that are not related to mission-critical activities, according to Riley. Some of the job cuts are tied to home loan functions that have been discontinued. In addition, a centralization of some support functions also reduced the number of employees needed.

Riley didn't know exactly how many mortgage jobs were included in the 1,200 layoffs, but "a significant percentage are from other areas."

She noted that laid off employees will received severance and job placement assistance.

In April, WaMu shut down its mortgage broker channel and all of its freestanding home loan offices, impacting around 3,000 employees.

Excluding today's layoffs, the Seattle-based thrift has eliminated around 7,500 mortgage positions since the beginning of last year and laid approximately 24,000 home loan employees since 2003.

WaMu Home Loans Layoffs
(since 2003)

Date Disclosed
Number Laid Off
April 8, 2008 3,000
Feb. 26, 2008 381
(# of home loan employees unconfirmed)
Dec. 10, 2007 2,600
Sept. 14, 2007 1,000
July 2, 2007 210
June 18, 2007 120
June 12, 2007 60
Feb. 15, 2007 250
Dec. 18, 2006 300
Nov. 2, 2006 65
Aug. 9, 2006 82
July 14, 2006 350
May 24, 2006 1,400
May 4, 2006 250
Feb. 16, 2006 2,500
Jan. 26, 2006 64
Nov. 18, 2004 2,000
July 23, 2004 2,500
Jan. 13, 2004 2,900
Oct. 30, 2003 4,000
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