to $729.6 million, at Washington Mutual Savings Bank, Seattle, during the third quarter. The increase helped put Washington Mutual over the top as the leading residential lender in Oregon, said Kerry Killinger, chairman of Washington Mutual. The savings bank reported that loans to purchase homes rose to $446 million from $326 million, and refinancings increased to $283.6 from $69.1 million. In other borrowings, residential construction loans fell somewhat, to $249.4 million from $259.7 million, and consumer loans rose to $240.1 million from $218.1 million. And the fourth quarter is already showing promise, Mr. Killinger said. "Our outlook is positive, based on the number of applications we've received in recent weeks. "As we enter the fourth quarter, we are well positioned to benefit from the current operating environment," he said. Washington Mutual is using aggressive marketing to capitalize on opportunities, Mr. Killinger said. Since last October, the company has been acquiring low-cost deposits by promoting its checking accounts and related services, a spokesman said. During the third quarter, account representatives opened 42,000 checking accounts, for a total of 164,000 during the last 13 months, the spokesman said.
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