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Local Washington Mutual branches open as usual

Local Washington Mutual branches open as usual



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(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

It's the largest bank failure in this country's history. The feds have moved in to broker a deal to sell Washington Mutual.

A sign on the door of the Washington Mutual branch near 3200 South and 1300 East in Salt Lake said it would open as usual at 9 a.m. But customers online see a welcome message from JP Morgan Chase. It bought Washington Mutual for $1.9 billion.

A customer named Wendy came to withdraw money from the ATM at a Salt Lake branch but had not heard about the takeover. "So it's not going to be Washington Mutual any more?" she asked.

The feds say all branches, including 20 in Utah, would be open like normal today.

Washington Mutual employees like John Graybill are uncertain what's next. "Of course we're going to have some questions and some uncertainties about what's going on," he said.

It's the largest bank collapse in U.S. history, but the feds say customers will have complete access to all their money.

Bankers tried to reassure Utahns today that the emergency sale of Washington Mutual will not hurt them. Experts say accounts there are insured and banks are actually one of the safer places to keep money right now.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

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Mary Richards

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