While the only visible change inside WaMu’s Seattle-headquarters after being purchased by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. was a portrait of Kerry Killinger--the CEO tossed out earlier this month--being replaced by a picture of an abacus, bank officials announced on Friday that as many as 400 retail branches will close. Chicagoland is likely to be hit hard because of the overlap: Chase has 340 branches, while WaMu has 117. A study conducted in March showed 160 Chase branches had a WaMu branch within 1.5 miles.
Chase did not give any indications on layoffs, and continues to say it’s business as usual for WaMu customers. [Trib, S-T]