David Schneider, president of home loans at Washington Mutual (WM) for the past three years, has been named head of retail banking for the WaMu segment of JPMorgan Chase, the New York bank that bought the thrift after federal regulators took it over last month.

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David Schneider, president of home loans at Washington Mutual for the past three years, has been named head of retail banking for the WaMu segment of JPMorgan Chase, the New York bank that bought the thrift after federal regulators took it over last month.

Asked about his role in the mortgage problems that brought WaMu down, Schneider said, “There will be never-ending discussion around home lending, and what I’m focused on now is the retail side and making sure we do the integration well.”

Schneider will report to JPMorgan’s retail head, Charlie Scharf, and head of consumer banking, Scott Powell.

“His leadership and experience will be crucial to our successful integration,” Scharf wrote in a memo Wednesday to WaMu employees.

Before joining WaMu, Schneider was president and chief operating officer of St. Louis-based CitiMortgage, part of Citigroup of New York. While there, he led the integration of two acquired mortgage companies, First Nationwide and Principal Residential.

Before that, he spent almost a decade at Old Kent Financial of Michigan, where he was chief financial officer and later executive vice president of retail banking. Fifth Third Bancorp bought Old Kent in 2001.

At Old Kent, Schneider helped integrate some bank acquisitions, including deals that gave the bank solid market share in Chicago, something WaMu struggled for years to do.

Schneider said the challenges of integrating WaMu into JPMorgan’s network will be “the challenges of all integrations of bringing together two big companies and introducing the customer base to a new brand.”

The New York company brings financial stability and a stable of products that will “be a real benefit for customers,” Schneider said. They include more investment products and private banking.

JPMorgan has said it could take until the end of 2010 to convert WaMu’s 2,300-branch network to its Chase brand.

WaMu and JPMorgan announced Wednesday that customers of both banks can now use any ATM that belongs to WaMu or Chase. Together they have 14,000 ATMs in 27 states.

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