Consolidation has helped thrifts become more efficient, and shaken up the top rankings in the last year.

Through its acquisition of Great Western Financial Corp., Washington Mutual Inc. zoomed up to the No. 1 spot in American Banker's annual survey. (See tables, pages 11-13.) The Seattle-based thrift's assets grew to $71 billion at June 30, from $24 billion a year earlier. Its efficiency ratio improved to 46.72%, from 49.80%.

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