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Thursday, Jun 8, 2023

Washington Mutual Plans Valley Layoffs

Washington Mutual Plans Valley Layoffs By SHELLY GARCIA Senior Reporter About 10 employees in the commercial group of Washington Mutual Inc.’s Encino branch will be laid off in a company-wide move to downsize the commercial lending business. The Encino branch is the only San Fernando Valley office that will be affected by the move, which will result in the closure of some 53 Washington Mutual commercial banking locations and the layoff of 850 workers in 14 states, the company said. Seattle-based Washington Mutual will cease financing the professional home builder market and discontinue its proprietary commercial mortgage-based securitization platform. The company said the loans associated with these businesses total about $5 billion or 2.5 percent of its total loan portfolio. The company said it would continue to serve small businesses with $5 million or less in sales through its network of retail banking stores. The move comes just a week after Washington Mutual announced it would slash 2,500 jobs and close 100 retail lending and loan processing offices across the country. Washington Mutual disappointed analysts when it cut its 2004 earnings guidance last month. “Today’s announcement is difficult because it impacts employees who have worked so hard for our company,” said Craig Chapman, commercial group president. “However, our future success depends on focusing our teams on major markets, products and services where we can best serve our commercial customers.”

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