Key People: Alan H. Fishman, Kerry Killinger
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Year Founded: 1889
Year Defunct: 2008
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 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.
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.: Tear away label
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