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WaMu to slash 1,600 jobs

Bank cuts payroll in California by 13% after failure and purchase by JPMorgan Chase.

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Washington Mutual announced Thursday it will eliminate 1,600 jobs in the San Francisco area, a company spokesman said.

Employees will receive their 60-day notice December 1, according to Gary Kishner, a WaMu spokesman.

The layoffs at the company's call centers will include 1,200 from the Pleasanton, California, office and 400 from San Francisco. The work will be shifted to other facilities around the country.

After the layoffs, WaMu will still employ 11,000 people in California, Kishner said.

Washington Mutual collapsed September 29, making it the biggest bank failure in the nation's history. Federal regulators seized the company's banking operations, only to turn around and sell them to JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) for $1.9 billion.

Prior to the collapse, WaMu -- saddled with the debt of toxic home loans -- struggled for months and tried numerous remedies to shore up its problems, including a $7 billion private equity investment and the expulsion of long-time chief executive Kerry Killinger. But fallout in the U.S. mortgage market and waning confidence in the company proved too much for the Seattle-based thrift.

-- CNN's Amanda O'Donnell contributed to this report. To top of page

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