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September 25, 2008


Chase customer pre WaMu takeover

Hate to break your little bubble but you can count down the months before you will stop seeing the "brand" WaMu. First as you said the name is awful and that is one reason for "Whoo hoo". But everything else Is on the table and will be evaluated by the folks that were originally Bank One (the one in Columbus, Ohio with the top brass in Chicago). The original Chase Manhattan operation in New Yoke was dismantled and all functions for the retail banking taken over by the Bank One folks in Columbus and Chicago. Chase has already said that this will happen and the organization announcement of the top executives were released on October 2. There will be some of the retail banking folks left for awhile in Seattle to pump their brains and see who wants to move to Columbus or Chicago. Their is no one left from the original retail Chase Manhattan in NYC. Before that when Bank One acquired First Chicago NBD and moved their headquarters to Chicago from Columbus the First Chicago NBD marketing, products, and computer systems were integrated into the Bank One counterparts. Later when Jamie Dimon took over he brought all IT in house in new facilities in Chicago. We all had to switch to new Bank One accounts, "products", (the account number stayed the same) that were the closest to what we already had. Our monthly statements (and yours soon) started coming from Baton Rouge, Louisiana where Bank One had just previously purchase a large bank. Since WaMu is fairly good sized compared to Chase some operations may end up as part of Chase. Bank One kept the excellent Elgin, Illinois customer service center while closing a Long Island, New York facility. They also kept Valley National Bank's Tempe, Arizona customer facility when that bank was purchased by Bank One earlier. Also the Chase Manhattan credit card operations were also dismantled and integrated into what was Bank One's First USA now Chase Bank USA. But the colorful branches and some of the quirky ways of doing business at the branches has a high likelihood of filtering down to the existing Chase branches. So what WaMU will really become is another part of Bank One. And Seattle will lose positions just like Chicago and New York lost. But they might gain some others. It really depends on how they perform now. Thus the ad copy may not be unneeded Butt licking after all. They have just completed interior brightening that looks like they had already looked over their shoulder to WaMu especially here in Chicago. And the national commercials and color schemes may just be coming from Seattle. But make no mistake, their will be one "brand" with one national commercial campaign and it won't have the tag line "Whoo hoo".

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