Are you a WaMu customer? Get ready for a name change!

Whoo-hoo!

I used to think of Washington Mutual as the Trader Joes of banking. It seemed to be the alternative place where Angelenos would bank that didn’t suck you dry by charging for checks and account fees, and the staff was always nice. Unfortunately, it turned out that after getting that first overdraft fee waived, WaMu was just more like a new Ralphs, but no different than any other grocery store. Or bank. (I’m writing this while I’m hungry, so please forgive me).

Anyway, this really has nothing to do with the big news this week that Washington Mutual became the largest bank failure ever, as they were so nice they gave out way too many loans too easily, and people weren’t paying them back. As a result, the bank was pretty much going bankrupt, so the government swooped in, and sold WaMu to JP Morgan Chase, whose name will soon begin appearing on your banking statements, your checks and debit cards, and the bank itself.

Or something like that. Seriously, I’m mostly thinking about getting some food. Have a snack with me, then make the jump for more details…

If you’re banking with WaMu, besides the name change, JP Morgan Chase says there’s nothing else you’ll notice running differently, nor will you need to take further action.

They’re boasting that you’ll soon be able to have access to even more ATMs nationwide – nearly tripling the number WaMu customers have access to now… but, if you stick in Los Angeles you’ll probably barely notice – I couldn’t find a Chase bank or ATM within 30 miles of Hollywood.

What isn’t known is for how long they’ll keep running the WaMu ad campaign with their slogan, “Whoo-hoo!” or if Chase will still carry the same cool luster as Washington Mutual seemingly once held. Or if they’ll serve sandwiches. Damn, I’m still hungry.

Check our more details from the horse’s mouth, or read how the Consumerist believes the changeover will happen.

7 Replies to “Are you a WaMu customer? Get ready for a name change!”

  1. I wonder if they’ll still have commercials with a bunch of naked old white guys standing around together. That was a big selling point for me.

    But seriously, I’ve been really happy with WaMu since I moved here two years ago. There’s a branch right next door to my office, and I also had the experience that the employees are always pretty friendly and helpful. They haven’t once given me a sandwich, but I’m not giving up on them yet.

  2. I used to bank with WaMu – but there’s much better options out there. I switched to Charles Schwab. Online banking, interest checking (3% right now, no minimum) and they fully refund ALL ATM fees. I don’t need to worry about if there’s an ATM for me nearby – they’re all for me.

    I haven’t used my WaMu account in over a year.

  3. Longtime Angelenos reallyremember WaMu as Home Savings and Loan and Great Western Bank (remember when they owned the naming rights to the Forum?) before WaMu took over in the late ’90s.

    WaMu, based in Washington state, now abdicates its legacy to the east coast-based JPMorgan Chase. Another example of east coast hegemonic colonialism trying to homogenize America.

  4. At the blogger picnic this afternoon two of the bloggers got text alerts that they needed to update their wamu profiles to jpmorgan by monday or they would not be able to do online banking.

    Both looked up at once…”my profile didn’t change, the bank did why do I have to do all that crap?”

  5. Fraz:
    Hopefully both people are wise enough to not fall for an obvious con. WaMu or JP Morgan or any other bank isn’t going to text, email, or phone anyone to ask them to update their account.

  6. I remember when WaMu took over Home Savings, because they had bad loans
    on they books, back in the 80’s and 90’s. You would think that the buffons
    that run WaMu would learn from Home Saving greed and irresponsible lending, but they did the same thing, unbeliveable. Well, maybe not.
    I wonder if the ATM fees will go up when the bank changes hands?

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