May 1, 2007

WaMu’s “Amazing Accomplishment”

The Puget Sound Business Journal’s staff writer Justin Matlick penned an in depth article on the recent layoffs at Washington Mutual.

From the article, President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Rotella said that trimming $700 million off expenses in a short time span, "is an amazing accomplishment."

Rotella also said that the streamlining effort is now complete, and is already being reflected in WaMu's bottom line.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kerry Killinger has since made it WaMu's goal to bring their expenses inline with other big banks, spurring a series of moves that included:

Cutting overall staff levels by upward of 10,000 workers, or 18 percent
Moving thousands of jobs to India, the Philippines and Costa Rica
Shuttering more than 80 retail branches
Closing 10 of 26 home-loan processing centers
Matlick writes:

“In addition to the Philippines location, WaMu contracts out call center work to Costa Rica -- where Spanish-speaking workers handle calls from the company's bilingual customers -- and outsources some back-office operations to India. Its goal is to eventually move the equivalent of 7,500 full-time positions offshore.”

WaMu is among a growing number of financial institutions, including JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, B of A and Countrywide Financial Corp., transferring operations offshore.

Something to think about; in an effort to alleviate the problems with sub-prime loans, WaMu is refinancing 2 billion of these loans with hopes that a little time will allow the borrowers to get their act together. Or could they just be pushing these problems out of the current financial statements.

From the website:

"We have a simple philosophy: Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.This simple approach has been in practice for years at Washington Mutual. We're committed to creating a work environment where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and succeed."