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.