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JP MORGAN CHASE TAKEOVER OF WASHINGTON MUTUAL will have Chicago Ramifications!

HERE IN CHICAGO AREA, CLOSURE OF SOME OF THE 117 WA MU BRANCHES HERE LIKELY - CHASE!

The Federal Government Seizure of Washington Mutual last week, with its over $300 Billion in assets, was the largest such bank takeover in U.S. History.  It's near-immediate sale to J.P. Morgan Chase headed off financial collapse of one of the largest lenders to be touched by trouble in the financial and mortgage markets.

Before the government seizure, bank customers withdrew an estimated $16.7 Million out of Washington Mutual accounts, fearing the worst.  After the takeover, however, thousands of Wa Mu customers across the country let out their breath, comfortable that the Chase takeover would provide security for their savings.  (Stockholders of Wa Mu, on the other hand, lost virtually all of the value of their investments).

But the impact here in Chicago, where Washington Mutual has 117 branches, but only a 0.51% share of the local deposit market, may be drastic. 

Chase is already a big player in the Chicago Banking Market, and, at 340 locations and a 14.5% share of the deposit market, has the greatest number of individual branches in Chicago.  Many of these branches are in close proximity to existing Chase locations, so closure of Wa Mu branches with overlapping market areas is likely.

Washington Mutual employs roughly 2,000 in Chicago.  Officials of J.P. Morgan Chase, however, declined to comment on possible layoffs when questioned earlier this week.

One final interesting note in the light of the latest lender takeover came from Tom Feltner, Policy Director of Woodstock Institute, a Chicago-based tracker of current housing market trends.

"It's interesting to note that, of the top 15 lenders by market share in 2007, six no longer exist as independent entities."

Interesting, indeed!

For more info, read Becky Yerak's story in last Saturday's Chicago Tribune.

DEAN MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted: Sunday, September 28, 2008 2:57 PM by Dean's Team

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