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Deals that changed the market in 2006: Washington Mutual’s covered bond

The emergence of Washington Mutual as a covered bond issuer was a positive shock to the entire sector and heightened the possibility of a global market appearing soon.

Six deals that changed the market in 2006

€4 billion covered bond issue by Washington Mutual, 3.875% September 2011 4.00% September 2016                  
Sole arranger: Barclays Capital
Joint bookrunners: BarCap, ABN Amro, Deutsche Bank
Legal advisers: Sidly Austin (for WaMu), Clifford Chance (for Barcap)
Date: September 2006

New borrowers are increasingly common in the covered bond market. In 2006 there were 10 new jumbo issuers. Some were simply new names from long-established covered bond jurisdictions such as France, Spain and the UK. Beyond this, though, the geographical expansion of the product to Sweden, Portugal and the USA was a healthy development. But although the appearance of all these new names and countries was important to investors for diversification reasons, it was the arrival of Washington Mutual that broke the mould.

“The European covered bond market is straightforward, well established, deep and broad. If you compare that market to the composition of our balance sheet and the quality of our assets we thought it was a very attractive alternative for us from a funding perspective,” says Robert Williams, treasurer at Washington Mutual.

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