Washington Mutual will cut about 1,600 employees in the San Francisco Bay Area will lose their jobs in the next few months

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About 1,600 Washington Mutual employees in the San Francisco Bay Area will lose their jobs in the next few months, according to spokeswoman Darcy Donahoe-Wilmot.

They include 1,200 jobs in Pleasanton, where the Seattle thrift has a call center for credit cards and consumer banking, and 400 positions at a San Francisco operations center that handles bank card services, according to the news site InsideBayArea.com.

Both centers are scheduled to close.

The job cuts are part of JPMorgan Chase’s effort to cut costs in the wake of its acquisition of WaMu. JPMorgan acquired WaMu after the bank failed on Sept. 25.

About 3,000 of WaMu’s 4,200 jobs in Seattle also are expected to be cut as a result of that deal, according to current and recently departed WaMu executives. Officials have not confirmed that figure and said all of WaMu’s 43,200 employees will know about their job status by Dec. 1.

The San Francisco and Pleasanton job eliminations “will cause no change for WaMu bank customers,” WaMu spokesman Gary Kishner told InsideBayArea.com.

WaMu has about 13,000 workers in California, he said.

Many of the workers will leave at the end of January, while others will be offered positions in other parts of JPMorgan, the site reported. People who leave will receive severance packages and job placement counseling.

JPMorgan does not have a precise timetable for changing branch names from WaMu to Chase, but Kishner told the news site it probably will be in the latter half of 2009.

Few if any cutbacks are anticipated at the existing WaMu bank branches in California, where Chase has no branches, he said.

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or mallison@seattletimes.com