Washington Mutual may seek to move more jobs overseas to help boost productivity, CEO Kerry Killinger said Tuesday.

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Washington Mutual may seek to move more jobs overseas to help boost productivity, CEO Kerry Killinger said Tuesday.

Some of Washington Mutual’s data-processing and card-services support operations are abroad.

“We’ll look to low-cost areas of the U.S. and at other countries,” Killinger said in an interview. “Our approach will be to be very thoughtful and methodical about where we site things and how we do it.”

Officials declined to elaborate, and did not discuss specific markets.

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WaMu also said its allowance for credit losses will increase to $750 million to $850 million next year from an estimated $150 million to $250 million in 2005, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Casey said in a presentation to investors in New York.

Next year “is going to be a tougher year,” Casey said.

Providian Financial, the credit-card issuer that WaMu bought last month, has customers with lower credit quality on average than Washington Mutual’s, meaning they are at greater risk of default, Killinger said.

Information from Seattle Times business reporter Melissa Allison is included in this report.