The Former Washington Mutual
Washington Mutual is rooted in supporting financial independence and responsibility for our customers needing home loans and standard banking services. Our company
is expanding to empower the next generation towards financial freedom while building trusted relationships with consumers.
The new Washington Mutual, rebranded as Northwest Mutual, offers financial education workshops, video games for learning about finances, and a mobile app for budgeting and tax prep. The new clientele includes high school students wanting a plan for college to first-time business owners to those planning for retirement, no matter the age.
After the Great Seattle fire in 1889, the mayor wanted to create a way to loan money to everyday people for their personal home construction and remodeling. Upon creation of the conference, the Washington National Building Loan and Investment Association was established.
In 1920, Washington Mutual was the first to introduce a program for school kids. The School Savings Program allowed children to deposit their change from their piggy banks and received a 5 percent interest rate.
The company expanded in 1964 with the acquisition of other mutual savings banks. As they gained these banks, they kept the physical locations but changed the name to Washington Mutual. These expansions also inspired the technological banking growth.
In 1976, WaMu introduced the pay-bills-by-phone service. This service brought them to the leading edge of telephone and eventually online banking. Additionally, they created an early form of a cash machine called “The Exchange.” But, their continued success in innovation was thwarted with the “step-rate” loan. This practice that started in the mid 1970s also acquired many losses over the coming years and was the main reason Washington Mutual collapsed in late 2008.
Washington Mutual survived for over 119 years through a financial hardships like the Great Depression, both World Wars, and recessions while maintaining cheerful service to its customers. But, in 2008, Washington Mutual went under and is considered the largest bank failure in history.