Washington Mutual Inc. will be laying off about 7% of the 3,100 employees that joined the company in its acquisition of American Savings Bank in Irvine, Calif.

Most of those layoffs will fall in American's administrative areas, a bank spokeswoman said. The cutbacks are about what analysts expected from the deal, which closed December 20.

"This is not a cost-driven transaction so there won't be a lot of brick and mortar consolidation," said Jay Tejera, analyst with Dain Bosworth Inc., in Minneapolis. "On top of that, American is a lean company."

The company expects just $25 million in cost savings from the deal in 1997 and $50 million - or about 20% of noninterest expenses - in 1998, Mr. Tejera said. By comparison, he said, Wells Fargo & Co.'s in-market acquisition of First Interstate Bancorp last year is expected to generate cost savings of more than 50% of noninterest expenses.

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