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WaMu Selects State of Texas For Its New Operations Center

Washington Mutual may have spent last year slashing jobs from its mortgage banking unit, but now the company is investing in a regional operations center that is expected to add some 4,200 jobs in Texas over the next seven years, most likely in the San Antonio metro area.

Washington Mutual chairman and CEO Kerry Killinger made the decision public during a joint press conference at the state capitol here last month.

"With the enormous growth we've enjoyed in recent years, the time has come to establish a regional operations center to support our businesses around the country. I'm pleased to announce that we have selected Texas as the future home for that center," Mr. Killinger said. "We wanted to select a state with a great labor pool, high quality of life and a business-friendly climate. Texas exemplifies all of these qualities."

Gov. Rick Perry said that Washington Mutual's decision to double its presence in Texas will create new jobs and "significantly boost our entire economy."

WaMu will receive $15 million in incentives through the Texas Enterprise Fund, and a spokesperson for WaMu said this was a "very important factor" in the decision to locate the operations center in the state.

The spokesperson said last week that WaMu was not yet ready to announce what specific operations would be based at the new center. WaMu has major consumer banking and major mortgage lending units.

In the year ending with the first quarter, WaMu eliminated almost 8,600 positions from its mortgage banking unit as part of a restructuring of mortgage operations.

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