Automatic shelf registration statement of securities of well-known seasoned issuers



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Table of Contents






As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 28, 2021




Registration No. 333-










UNITED STATES




SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION




Washington D.C. 20549










FORM

S-3





REGISTRATION STATEMENT





UNDER






THE
SECURITIES ACT OF 1933











Washington Federal, Inc.




(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)































Washington





91-1661606





(State or other jurisdiction of




incorporation or organization)






(I.R.S. Employer




Identification No.)





425 Pike Street




Seattle, Washington 98101




(206)

624-7930





(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)










Justin Monroe, Esq.




Counsel




Washington
Federal, Inc.




425 Pike Street




Seattle, Washington 98101




(206)

624-7930





(Name and address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)











Copies to:





Samir A. Gandhi, Esq.




Robert A. Ryan, Esq.




Sidley Austin LLP




787
Seventh Avenue




New York, NY 10019




(212)

839-5300











Approximate
date of commencement of proposed sale to the public:

From time to time after this registration statement becomes effective.



If the
only securities being registered on this Form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, please check the following box.  ☐



If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the
Securities Act of 1933, other than securities offered only in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box.  ☒



If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check
the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐



If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and
list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐



If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction I.D. or a post-effective amendment thereto that shall become
effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box.  ☒



If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction I.D. filed to register additional
securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box.  ☐



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a

non-accelerated

filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting
company,” and “emerging growth company” in

Rule 12b-2

of the Exchange Act. (Check one):





























































Large accelerated filer





Accelerated filer








Non-accelerated filer





Smaller reporting company












Emerging growth company





If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended
transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of Securities Act.  ☐










CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE









































































Title of Each Class of




Securities to be Registered(1)(2)






Amount




to be




Registered(1)






Proposed




Maximum




Offering
Price




Per Unit(1)






Proposed




Maximum


Aggregate




Offering Price(1)





Amount of


Registration Fee(1)



Preferred Stock




















Depositary
Shares(3)































(1)


An indeterminate aggregate initial offering price and number or amount of the securities of each identified
class is being registered as may from time to time be sold at indeterminate prices. Separate consideration may or may not be received for securities that are issuable upon conversion of, or in exchange for, or upon exercise of, convertible or
exchangeable securities. In reliance on and in accordance with Rules 456(b) and 457(r), Washington Federal, Inc. (the “Registrant”) is deferring payment of all of the registration fee.









(2)


The securities registered under this registration statement may be sold separately or together.









(3)


Depositary shares will be evidenced by depositary receipts issued pursuant to a deposit agreement. In the
event the Registrant elects to offer to the public fractional interests in shares of preferred stock registered under this registration statement, depositary receipts will be distributed to those persons purchasing such fractional interests and the
shares of preferred stock will be issued to the depositary under the applicable deposit agreement.

















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PROSPECTUS




Washington Federal, Inc.







LOGO




Preferred Stock




Depositary Shares









This prospectus
relates to preferred stock and depositary shares that we may offer and sell at any time and from time to time in one or more transactions. This prospectus contains a general description of these securities. The specific terms of the securities will
be contained in one or more supplements to this prospectus. This prospectus may not be used to offer or sell securities unless accompanied by one or more prospectus supplements. Prospectus supplements may add, update or change information contained
or incorporated by reference in this prospectus. You should carefully read this prospectus and each applicable prospectus supplement, as well as the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus and each applicable prospectus supplement,
before you invest in securities to which this prospectus relates.



We have not yet determined whether any of the other securities that may
be offered by this prospectus and one or more applicable prospectus supplements will be listed on any exchange, inter-dealer quotation system or


over-the-counter


market.



The securities to which this prospectus relates may be offered directly, through agents designated from time to time by us, or to or
through underwriters or dealers. For additional information, you should refer to “Plan of Distribution” in this prospectus. If any agents or underwriters are involved in the sale of any of the securities to which this prospectus relates,
their names, and any applicable purchase price, fee, commission or discount arrangement between or among them or us, will be set forth or will be calculable based on information included or incorporated by reference in an applicable prospectus
supplement.










Investing in the securities to which this prospectus relates involves risks. See
“


Risk Factors


” included on page 4 of this prospectus and in any applicable prospectus supplement, in addition to the risk factors that are incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any
applicable prospectus supplement.




Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved
or disapproved of the securities offered hereby or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.



The securities to which this prospectus relates are not deposits or other obligations of a bank and are not insured or guaranteed by the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency.










The date of
this prospectus is January 28, 2021










Table of Contents








TABLE OF CONTENTS































































































































































ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS





i






WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION





1






DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE





2






THE COMPANY





3






RISK FACTORS





4






CAUTIONARY NOTES REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS





5






USE OF PROCEEDS





7






GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES





8






DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK





9






DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSITARY SHARES





13






PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION





14






LEGAL MATTERS





16






EXPERTS





16












ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS



This prospectus is part of an automatic shelf registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the
“SEC”), as a “well-known seasoned issuer” as defined in Rule 405 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). By using a shelf registration statement, we may offer and sell, at any time and
from time to time, the securities described in this prospectus. As permitted by SEC rules, this prospectus does not contain all of the information included in the registration statement to which it relates. For further information, we refer you to
the registration statement, including its exhibits. Statements contained in this prospectus about the provisions or contents of any agreement or other document are not necessarily complete. If the SEC’s rules require an agreement or document to
be filed as an exhibit to the registration statement, you should see that agreement or document for a complete description of these matters. The registration statement can be obtained from the SEC as indicated under the heading “Where You Can
Find More Information.”



You should also carefully read and consider the information included in this prospectus and each applicable
prospectus supplement together with the documents we have incorporated by reference in this prospectus or an applicable prospectus supplement. Information incorporated by reference after the date of this prospectus forms a part of this prospectus
and may add, update or change information contained in this prospectus or any earlier prospectus supplement. Any such information that is inconsistent with this prospectus or an earlier prospectus supplement will supersede the information in this
prospectus or that earlier prospectus supplement.




We have not authorized anyone to provide any information other than that contained
in or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or an applicable prospectus supplement prepared by us or on our behalf or to which we have referred you. We take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any
other information that others may give you. We are not making an offer to sell the securities to which this prospectus relates in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. You should not assume that the information in this
prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any document incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement is accurate as of any date other than the date of the applicable document or such other date
specified in the applicable document. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date.





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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION



We are subject to the informational requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and, in
accordance with these requirements, we file reports and other information relating to our business, financial condition and other matters with the SEC. We are required to disclose in such reports certain information, as of particular dates,
concerning our results of operations and financial condition, executive officers and directors, principal holders of shares, material interests of such persons in transactions with us and other matters. The SEC maintains a website that contains
reports and other information regarding registrants that file electronically with the SEC, including the registration statement to which this prospectus relates. The address of that website is www.sec.gov.



Our website is www.wafdbank.com. Our SEC filings are available free of charge on our website as soon as reasonably practicable after they are
electronically filed or furnished to the SEC. You may access these SEC filings on our website. However, other than any documents expressly incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement, the information on, or
accessible through, our website or any other website that is referred to in this prospectus is not part of this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement.





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DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE



The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” information in this prospectus, which means that we can disclose important
information to you by referring to those documents we file with the SEC. Any information incorporated this way is considered to be part of this prospectus, and any information that we file later with the SEC will automatically update and, in some
cases, supersede the information contained or incorporated by reference herein. We hereby “incorporate by reference” the documents listed below (other than, in each case, documents or information deemed to be furnished and not filed in
accordance with SEC rules).













•



Our Annual Report on

Form 10-K

for the year ended September 30,
2020 filed with the SEC on

November 23, 2020

(including those portions of our Definitive Proxy Statement on
Schedule 14A filed with the SEC on December 7, 2020 that are incorporated by reference into Part III of such Annual Report on

Form 10-K);














•



Our Current Report on


Form 8-K


filed with the SEC on November 20, 2020; and














•



The description of our common stock contained in Form

8-B

filed with the
SEC on January 26, 1995, including any amendment or reports filed for the purpose of updating that description.




We
also incorporate by reference in this prospectus any future filings that we make with the SEC under Section 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act until we sell all the securities to which this prospectus relates; provided, however, that
we are not incorporating any information furnished under either Item 2.02 or Item 7.01 or any related exhibit furnished under Item 9.01(d) of any Current Report on

Form 8-K

unless, and
except to the extent, specified in any such Current Report on

Form 8-K

or in any applicable prospectus supplement.



Upon your oral or written request, we will provide you with a copy of any of these filings at no cost. Requests should be directed to:



Washington Federal, Inc.



Investor
Relations



425 Pike Street



Seattle, Washington 98101



(206)

626-8178





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THE COMPANY



Our business consists primarily of accepting deposits from the general public and investing these funds in loans of various types, including
first lien mortgages on single-family dwellings, construction loans, land acquisition and development loans, loans on multi-family, commercial real estate and other income producing properties, home equity loans and business loans. We also invest in
certain United States government and agency obligations and other investments permitted by applicable laws and regulations. As of December 31, 2020, we have 234 branches located in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico
and Texas. Through our subsidiaries, we are also engaged in insurance brokerage activities.



The principal sources of funds for our
activities are retained earnings, loan repayments, net deposit inflows, repayments and sales of investments and borrowings. Our principal sources of revenue are interest on loans and interest and dividends on investments. Its principal expenses are
interest paid on deposits, credit costs, general and administrative expenses, interest on borrowings and income taxes.





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RISK FACTORS



Investing in securities to which this prospectus relates involves risks. Before deciding to purchase any of the securities to which this
prospectus relates, you should carefully consider the discussion of risks and uncertainties under the heading “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on

Form 10-K

and under similar
headings in our subsequent Quarterly Reports on

Form 10-Q,

as well as the other risks and uncertainties described in any other documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus or in any applicable
prospectus supplement. See the section entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” in this prospectus.





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CAUTIONARY NOTES REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS



This prospectus, including the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus, and any applicable prospectus supplement, contain or
will contain certain statements that are “forward-looking statements” as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act, which are subject to the “safe harbor” created by those
sections. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “intends,” “forecasts,” “projects” and other similar expressions, as well as future or conditional verbs
such as “will,” “should,” “would” and “could,” are intended to help identify such forward-looking statements. These statements are not historical facts, but instead represent management’s current
expectations, plans or forecasts and are based on the beliefs and assumptions of management, and are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and are often beyond our control. As a result,
actual results could differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the plans, objectives, goals, estimates, intentions and expectations expressed in
forward-looking statements include:













•



a deterioration in economic conditions, including declines in the real estate market and home sale volumes and
financial stress on borrowers (consumers and businesses) as a result of the uncertain economic environment;














•



the effects of natural or

man-made

disasters, calamities, or conflicts,
including terrorist events and pandemics (such as the

COVID-19

pandemic), including on asset credit quality and business operations, as well as its impact on general economic and financial market conditions;














•



the effects of a severe economic downturn, including high unemployment rates and declines in housing prices and
property values, in our primary market areas;














•



the effects of and changes in monetary and fiscal policies of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
System and the U.S. Government, including responses to the

COVID-19

pandemic;














•



fluctuations in interest rate risk and changes in market interest rates, including risk related to LIBOR reform
and risk of negative rates;














•



our ability to make accurate assumptions and judgments about the collectability of our loan portfolio, including
the creditworthiness of our borrowers and the value of the assets securing these loans;














•



legislative and regulatory limitations, including those arising under the Dodd-Frank Act and potential
limitations in the manner in which we conduct our business and undertake new investments and activities;














•



our ability to obtain external financing to fund our operations or obtain financing on favorable terms;














•



changes in other economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory and technological factors affecting our markets,
assets, liabilities, operations, pricing, products, services and fees;














•



our success at managing the risks involved in the remediation efforts associated with our Bank Secrecy Act
(“BSA”) program, costs of enhancements to our BSA program are greater than anticipated; and governmental authorities undertake enforcement actions or legal proceedings with respect to our BSA program beyond those contemplated by the
Consent Order, and the potential impact of such matters on the success, timing and ability to pursue growth or other business initiatives;














•



our success at managing the risks involved in the remediation efforts associated with Home Mortgage Disclosure
Act (“HMDA”) compliance and reporting, costs of enhancements to our HMDA program are greater than anticipated; and governmental authorities undertake enforcement actions or legal proceedings with respect to our HMDA program beyond those
contemplated by the Consent Orders that have been entered into with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”);














•



our success at managing the risks involved in the foregoing and managing our business; and






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•



the timing and occurrence or

non-occurrence

of events that may be subject
to circumstances beyond our control.




See the heading “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on

Form 10-

K and under similar headings in our subsequent Quarterly Reports on

Form 10-Q

or Current Reports on

Form 8-K

for a further description of these and other factors. For the reasons described above, we caution you against relying on any forward-looking statements. You should not consider any list of such factors to be an exhaustive statement of all of the
risks, uncertainties, or potentially inaccurate assumptions that could cause our current expectations or beliefs to change. Further, any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and we undertake no obligation to
update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect events that occur or circumstances that arise after the date on which the statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as otherwise may be required by the
federal securities laws.





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USE OF PROCEEDS



Unless otherwise stated in any applicable prospectus supplement, we will use the net proceeds from the sale of any securities that may be
offered hereby for general corporate purposes. General corporate purposes may include, but are not limited to, redeeming or repurchasing outstanding securities, increasing our liquidity, reducing or refinancing our indebtedness or the indebtedness
of one or more of our subsidiaries, funding our operations, financing receivables and financing acquisitions. Pending such use, any net proceeds may be invested temporarily in short-term, interest-bearing, investment-grade securities and/or similar
assets as we may determine.





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GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES



We may under this prospectus offer preferred stock or depositary shares.



The following description of the terms of the securities we may offer under this prospectus sets forth some general terms and provisions of
these securities. The particular terms of securities offered by us under this prospectus will be described in one or more prospectus supplements. To the extent the information contained in any applicable prospectus supplement differs from the
general description set forth in this prospectus, you should rely on the information in that prospectus supplement.





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DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED STOCK



We have provided below a summary description of our preferred stock. This description does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its
entirety by reference to the full text of our restated articles of incorporation (our “articles of incorporation”) and amended and restated bylaws (our “bylaws”). You should read the full text of our articles of incorporation and
bylaws, as well as the applicable provisions of the Washington Business Corporation Act (the “WBCA”).



References in this
section to “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Washington Federal, Inc. and not to any of its subsidiaries.




General



Under our articles of incorporation, we have authority to issue 5,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $1.00 per share. As of
January 28, 2021, we had no shares of preferred stock issued.




Preferred Stock



Our board of directors has the authority, without shareholder approval, to issue preferred stock in one or more series and to fix the
preferences, limitations and rights of the shares of each series, including:













•



the designation of the series;














•



the number of shares constituting the series;














•



dividend rights;














•



conversion or exchange rights; and














•



the terms of redemption and liquidation preferences.




The prospectus supplement for a series of preferred stock will specify, among other things:













•



the maximum number of shares;














•



the designation of the shares;














•



the annual dividend rate, if any, whether the dividend rate is fixed or variable, the date or dates on which
dividends will accrue, the dividend payment dates, and whether dividends will be cumulative;














•



the price and the terms and conditions for redemption, if any, including redemption at our option or at the
option of the holders, including the time period for redemption, and any accumulated dividends or premiums;














•



the liquidation preference, if any, and any accumulated dividends upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding up
of our affairs;














•



any sinking fund or similar provision, and, if so, the terms and provisions relating to the purpose and operation
of the fund;














•



the terms and conditions, if any, for conversion or exchange of shares of any other class or classes of our
capital stock or any series of any other class or classes, or of any other series of the same class, or any other securities or assets, including the price or the rate of conversion or exchange and the method, if any, of adjustment;














•



the voting rights; and














•



any or all other preferences and relative, participating, optional or other special rights, privileges or
qualifications, limitations or restrictions.






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Anti-Takeover Effects



The provisions of our articles of incorporation, our bylaws, and Washington law summarized in the following paragraphs may have anti-takeover
effects and may delay, defer, or prevent a tender offer or takeover attempt that a shareholder might consider to be in such shareholder’s best interest, including those attempts that might result in a premium over the market price for the
shares held by shareholders, and may make removal of management more difficult.





Authorized Shares




Our articles of incorporation authorize the issuance of 300,000,000 shares of common stock and 5,000,000 shares of preferred stock. These
shares of common stock and preferred stock provide our board of directors with as much flexibility as possible to effect, among other transactions, financings, acquisitions, stock dividends, stock splits and the exercise of employee stock options.
However, these additional authorized shares may also be used by the board of directors consistent with its fiduciary duty to deter future attempts to gain control of us. The board of directors also has sole authority to determine the terms of any
one or more series of preferred stock, including voting rights, conversion rates, and liquidation preferences. As a result of the ability to fix voting rights for a series of preferred stock, the board of directors has the power to the extent
consistent with its fiduciary duty to issue a series of preferred stock to persons friendly to management in order to attempt to block a tender offer, merger or other transaction by which a third party seeks control of us, and thereby assist members
of management to retain their positions.





Board of Directors




Except with respect to any directors who may be elected by any series of preferred stock, our board of directors is divided into three classes,
each of which contains approximately

one-third

of the members of the board. The members of each class are elected for a term of three years, with the terms of office of all members of one class expiring each
year so that approximately

one-third

of the total number of directors is elected each year. The classification of directors, together with the provisions in our articles of incorporation described below that
limit the ability of shareholders to remove directors and that permit only the remaining directors to fill any vacancies on the board of directors, have the effect of making it more difficult for shareholders to change the composition of the board
of directors. As a result, at least two annual meetings of shareholders will be required for the shareholders to change a majority of the directors, whether or not a change in the board of directors would be beneficial and whether or not a majority
of shareholders believe that such a change would be desirable.



Our articles of incorporation provides that the size of the board shall be
not less than five or more than 15 as set in accordance with the bylaws. In accordance with the bylaws, the number of directors is currently set at nine. The bylaws provide that any vacancy occurring in the board of directors, including as a result
of an increase in the number of directors, shall be filled, by a vote of a majority of the directors then in office, even if such majority is less than a quorum, for the unexpired term of such director’s predecessor in office. The classified
board is intended to provide for continuity of the board of directors and to make it more difficult and time consuming for a shareholder group to fully use its voting power to gain control of the board of directors without the consent of incumbent
members of the board. The articles of incorporation further provide that a director may be removed from the board of directors prior to the expiration of the director’s term only with cause and only by a majority of the total votes eligible to
be cast thereon, provided that a director may not be removed if the number of votes sufficient to elect the director under cumulative voting is voted against the director’s removal.





Special Meetings and Action by Written Consent




Our bylaws provide that special meetings of shareholders may be called only by our chairman, the president or a majority of the board of
directors. Shareholders are not permitted to call special meetings. This provision prevents shareholders from forcing consideration of a proposal between annual meetings over the opposition of





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the chairman, the president and the board by calling a special meeting of the shareholders. In addition, any action taken by written consent of our shareholders must, under Washington law,
receive the consent of all shareholders.





Amendment of Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws




Generally, amendments to our articles of incorporation must be approved by our board of directors by a majority vote of the board and by our
shareholders by a majority of the voting group comprising all the votes entitled to be cast on the proposed amendment, and a majority of each other voting group entitled to vote separately on the proposed amendment. Our bylaws may be amended by a
majority vote of our board of directors, or by a majority vote of the total votes entitled to vote generally at an annual meeting or special meeting of the shareholders.





Shareholder Nominations and Proposals




Our bylaws generally require a shareholder who intends to raise new business or nominate a candidate for election to the board of directors to
give written notice no later than 90 days prior to the anniversary date of the mailing of proxy materials in connection with the immediately preceding annual meeting of shareholders. The notice provision requires a shareholder who desires to
raise new business to provide certain information to us concerning the nature of the new business, the shareholder and the shareholder’s interest in the business matter. Similarly, a shareholder wishing to nominate any person for election as a
director must provide us with certain information concerning the nominee and the proposing shareholder. Advance notice of nominations or proposed business by shareholders gives our board of directors time to consider the qualifications of the
proposed nominees, the merits of the proposals and, to the extent deemed necessary or desirable by the board, to inform shareholders and make recommendations about those matters.



The cumulative effect of the restrictions on a potential acquisition of us that are contained in our articles of incorporation and bylaws, and
federal and Washington law, may be to discourage potential takeover attempts and perpetuate incumbent management, even though certain shareholders may deem a potential acquisition to be in their best interests, or deem existing management not to be
acting in their best interests.





Anti-Takeover Effects of Washington Law




Washington law contains certain provisions that may have the effect of delaying, deterring or preventing a change in control. Chapter 23B.19 of
the WBCA prohibits us, with certain exceptions, from engaging in certain significant business transactions with (or as a result of) an “acquiring person” (defined as a person or group of persons who acquire 10% or more of our voting
securities without the prior approval of the our board of directors) for a period of five years following the acquiring person’s share acquisition date. The prohibited transactions include, among others, a merger or consolidation with, sale or
disposition of assets to, or issuance or redemption of stock to or from, the acquiring person, or an affiliate or associate of the acquiring person, or otherwise allowing the acquiring person or an affiliate or associate to receive a
disproportionate benefit as a shareholder. Exceptions to this statutory prohibition include approval of the transaction at a shareholders meeting by holders of not less than a

two-thirds

of the shares held by
each voting group entitled to vote on the transaction, not counting shares as to which the acquiring person has beneficial ownership or voting control, transactions approved by the board of directors prior to the acquiring person first becoming an
acquiring person, or, with respect to a merger, share exchange, consolidation, liquidation or distribution entered into with the acquiring person, transactions where certain other requirements regarding the fairness of the consideration to be
received by the shareholders have been met. We may not exempt ourselves from coverage of this statute. These statutory provisions may have the effect of delaying, deterring or preventing a change in control.





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Federal Law




The Change in Bank Control Act prohibits a person or group of persons acting in concert from acquiring control of a bank holding company unless
the Federal Reserve Board has been given 60 days prior written notice of such proposed acquisition and within that time period the Federal Reserve Board has not issued a notice disapproving the proposed acquisition or extending the period during
which such a disapproval may be issued. The term “control” is defined for this purpose to include ownership or control of, or holding with power to vote, 25% or more of any class of a bank holding company’s voting securities. Under a
rebuttable presumption contained in the regulations of the Federal Reserve Board, ownership or control of, or holding with power to vote, 10% or more of any class of voting securities of a bank holding company having a class of securities registered
under Section 12 of the Exchange Act would also be deemed to constitute the acquisition of control. In addition, any company would be required to obtain the approval of the Federal Reserve Board under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 before
acquiring control of a bank holding company. For this purpose, a company is deemed to have control of a bank holding company if (i) the company owns, controls, holds with power to vote, or holds proxies representing, 25% or more of any class of
voting shares of the bank holding company, (ii) controls in any manner the election of a majority of the bank holding company’s directors or (iii) the Federal Reserve Board determines that the company directly or indirectly exercises
a controlling influence over the management or policies of the bank holding company (a test that has been broadly applied by the Federal Reserve Board based on its consideration of all relevant facts).





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DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSITARY SHARES



We may offer depositary receipts for depositary shares, each of which will represent a fractional interest in a share of a particular series
of a class of our preferred stock, as described in any applicable prospectus supplement. Preferred stock of each series of each class represented by depositary shares will be deposited under a separate deposit agreement among us, the preferred stock
depositary named in the deposit agreement and the holders from time to time of our depositary receipts. Subject to the terms of the deposit agreement, each owner of a depositary receipt will be entitled, in proportion to the fractional interest of a
share of the particular series of a class of our preferred stock represented by the depositary shares evidenced by such depositary receipt, to all the rights and preferences of the preferred stock represented by those depositary shares (including
dividend, voting, conversion, redemption and liquidation rights).



The depositary shares will be evidenced by depositary receipts issued
pursuant to the applicable deposit agreement. Immediately following our issuance and delivery of the preferred stock to the preferred stock depositary, we will cause the preferred stock depositary to issue, on our behalf, the depositary receipts.



The description in any applicable prospectus supplement will not necessarily be complete, and reference will be made to the relevant
deposit agreement and depositary receipts, which will be filed with the SEC. Copies of the applicable form of deposit agreement and depositary receipt may be obtained from us upon request.





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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION



We may sell the offered securities inside and outside the United States from time to time (a) to or through underwriters or dealers,
(b) directly to one or more purchasers, including our affiliates, (c) through agents, or (d) through a combination of any of these methods. An applicable prospectus supplement will describe the terms of the offering of the applicable
securities and the method of distribution of those securities, including the following information, if applicable:













•



the terms of the offering














•



the names of any underwriters or agents;














•



the name or names of any managing underwriter or underwriters;














•



the purchase price of the securities from us;














•



the net proceeds to us from the sale of the securities;














•



any delayed delivery arrangements;














•



any underwriting discounts, commissions and other items constituting underwriters’ compensation;














•



any initial public offering price;














•



any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers; and














•



any commissions paid to agents.





General



Underwriters, dealers, agents
and remarketing firms that participate in the distribution of the offered securities may be “underwriters” as defined in the Securities Act. Any discounts or commissions they receive from us and any profits they receive on the resale of
the offered securities may be treated as underwriting discounts and commissions under the Securities Act. We will identify any underwriters, agents or dealers and describe their commissions, fees or discounts in an applicable prospectus supplement.




Sale Through Underwriters or Dealers



If we use underwriters in a sale, they will acquire the offered securities for their own account. The underwriters may resell the securities in
one or more transactions, including negotiated transactions. These sales will be made at a fixed public offering price or at varying prices determined at the time of the sale.



We may offer the securities to which this prospectus relates to the public through an underwriting syndicate or through a single underwriter.



Unless any applicable prospectus supplement states otherwise, the obligations of the underwriters to purchase the offered securities will
be subject to certain conditions contained in an underwriting agreement that we will enter into with the underwriters. The underwriters will be obligated to purchase all of the securities of the series offered if any of the securities are purchased,
unless an applicable prospectus supplement says otherwise. Any initial public offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed,

re-allowed

or paid to dealers may be changed from time to time.



If we use dealers in a sale of securities, we will sell the securities to them as principals. They may then resell those securities to the
public at varying prices determined by the dealers at the time of resale. We will include in an applicable prospectus supplement the names of the dealers and the terms of the transaction.





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Direct Sales and Sales Through Agents



We may choose to sell the offered securities directly. In this case, no underwriters or agents would be involved. We may also sell the
securities through agents we designate from time to time. In an applicable prospectus supplement, we will name any agent involved in the offer or sale of the offered securities, and we will describe any commissions payable by us to the agent. Unless
we inform you otherwise in an applicable prospectus supplement, any agent will agree to use its best efforts to solicit purchases for the period of its appointment.



We may sell the securities directly to institutional investors or others who may be deemed to be underwriters within the meaning of the
Securities Act with respect to any sale of those securities. We will describe the terms of any such sales in an applicable prospectus supplement.




Delayed Delivery Contracts



If we so
indicate in an applicable prospectus supplement, we may authorize agents, underwriters or dealers to solicit offers from certain types of institutions to purchase securities from us at the public offering price under delayed delivery contracts.
These contracts would provide for payment and delivery on a specified date in the future. The contracts would be subject only to those conditions described in an applicable prospectus supplement. An applicable prospectus supplement will describe the
commission payable for solicitation of those contracts.




Indemnification



We may have agreements with agents, underwriters, dealers and remarketing firms and each of their respective affiliates to indemnify them
against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. Agents, underwriters, dealers and remarketing firms, and their affiliates, may engage in transactions with, or perform services for, us in the ordinary course of
business. This includes commercial banking and investment banking transactions.




Market Making, Stabilization and Other Transactions



Unless any applicable prospectus supplement states otherwise, each series of offered securities will be a new issue and will have no
established trading market. We may elect to apply to list any series of offered securities on an exchange. Any underwriters that we use in the sale of offered securities may make a market in those securities, but may discontinue such market making
at any time without notice. Therefore, we cannot assure you that the offered securities will have a liquid trading market.



In connection
with the distribution of the securities offered under this prospectus, we may enter into swap or other hedging transactions with, or arranged by, underwriters or agents or their affiliates, which may include short sales of the securities by
counterparties or option, forward or other types of transactions that require delivery of securities to a counterparty, who may resell or transfer the securities offered under this prospectus.



Underwriters and others who are deemed to be underwriters under the Securities Act may engage in transactions that stabilize, maintain or
otherwise affect the price of the securities, including the entry of stabilizing bids or syndicate covering transactions or the imposition of penalty bids. Any such underwriters and distribution participants may be subject to applicable provisions
of the Exchange Act and the associated rules and regulations under the Exchange Act, including Regulation M. Furthermore, under Regulation M, persons engaged in a distribution of securities are prohibited from simultaneously engaging in market
making and certain other activities with respect to such securities for a specified period of time prior to the commencement of such distributions, subject to special exceptions or exemptions. In addition, the anti-manipulation rules under the
Exchange Act may apply to sales of the securities in the market. All of these limitations may affect the marketability of the securities and the ability of any person to engage in market-making activities with respect to the securities.





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LEGAL MATTERS



Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, the validity of the securities offered hereby will be passed upon for us
by Sidley Austin LLP, New York, New York, and with respect to matters of Washington law by Fox Rothschild LLP.






EXPERTS



The financial statements, incorporated in this prospectus by reference from Washington Federal, Inc.’s Annual Report on Form

10-K,

and the effectiveness of Washington Federal, Inc.’s internal control over financial reporting have been audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as
stated in their reports, which are incorporated herein by reference. Such financial statements have been so incorporated in reliance upon the reports of such firm given upon their authority as experts in accounting and auditing.





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PART II




INFORMATION NOT REQUIRED IN PROSPECTUS











Item 14.




Other Expenses of Issuance and Distribution




The expenses, other than underwriting commissions, expected to be incurred in connection with the issuance and distribution of the securities
being registered under this registration statement are estimated to be as follows:

























































































SEC Registration Fee






*


Trustee Fees and Expenses






**


Printing Fees and Expenses






**


Legal Fees and Expenses






**


Accountants’ Fees and Expenses






**


Rating Agency Fees






**


Listing Fees






**


Miscellaneous






**


Total





$



















*


Omitted because the registration fee is being deferred pursuant to Rule 456(b) and 457(r).









**


These fees are calculated based on the number of issuances and amount of securities offered and accordingly
cannot be estimated at this time.












Item 15.




Indemnification of Directors and Officers




The registrant, Washington Federal, Inc. (“Washington Federal” or the “Registrant”), is organized under the Washington
Business Corporation Act which, in general, empowers Washington corporations to indemnify a person made a party to a threatened, pending or completed action, suit or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative and whether
formal or informal, other than an action by or in the right of the corporation, by reason of the fact that such person is or was a director, officer, employee or agent of the corporation, or is or was serving at the request of the corporation as a
director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or agent of another enterprise, against expenses, including attorney’s fees, judgments, amounts paid in settlements, penalties and fines actually and reasonably incurred in connection therewith if
the person acted in good faith and in a manner reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the corporation or its shareholders and, with respect to a criminal action or proceeding, if the person had no reasonable cause to
believe his or her conduct was unlawful. Washington corporations may not indemnify a person in connection with such proceedings if the person was adjudged to have received an improper personal benefit.



The WBCA also empowers Washington corporations to provide similar indemnity to such a person in connection with actions or suits by or in the
right of the corporation if the person acted in good faith and in a manner the person reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the interests of the corporation or its shareholders, unless the person was adjudged liable to the corporation.



If authorized by the articles of incorporation of a Washington corporation or by its shareholders, a Washington corporation may indemnify and
advance expenses to the persons described above without regard to the limitations described above, provided that such indemnity will not cover acts or omissions of the person finally adjudged to be intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of
law, conduct finally adjudged to involve a violation of WBCA Section 310 (related to certain unlawful distributions), and any transaction with respect to which it was finally adjudged that the person received a benefit to which such person was
not legally entitled.



The WBCA also permits a Washington corporation to purchase and maintain on behalf of such persons insurance against
liabilities incurred in such capacities. Washington Federal has obtained a policy of directors’ and officers’ liability insurance.





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The WBCA further permits Washington corporations to limit the personal liability of
directors for monetary damages for conduct as a director. However, the WBCA does not eliminate or limit the liability of a director for any of the following: (i) acts or omissions that involve intentional misconduct by a director or a knowing
violation of law by a director; (ii) conduct violating WBCA Section 310; or (iii) any transaction from which the director will personally receive a benefit in money, property or services to which the director is not legally entitled.



Washington Federal has also entered into indemnification agreements with its officers and directors providing for indemnification against
certain liabilities to the fullest extent permitted under Washington law.




Washington Federal’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws



Washington Federal’s articles of incorporation limit the personal liability of directors for a breach of their fiduciary duty except for
under the circumstances required to be excepted under Washington law described above.



Washington Federal’s articles of incorporation
generally require Washington Federal to indemnify directors and officers to the fullest extent legally possible under the WBCA. In addition, the articles of incorporation require Washington Federal to similarly indemnify any such person who is or
was serving at the request of Washington Federal as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or agent of another entity. Washington Federal ’s articles of incorporation further provide for the advancement of expenses under certain
circumstances.



Under a directors’ and officers’ liability insurance policy, directors and officers of the registrant are
insured against certain liabilities.











Item 16.




Exhibits





EXHIBIT INDEX
























































































































Exhibit


No.






Description





1.1


Form of Underwriting Agreement*



4.1



Restated Articles of Incorporation of Washington Federal, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 
3.1 of the Quarterly Report on

Form 10-Q

filed by Washington Federal on May 3, 2016)




4.2



Amended and Restated Bylaws of Washington Federal, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 of the Current Report on

Form 8-K

filed by Washington Federal, Inc. on November 20, 2020)




4.3


Form of Certificate of Designations for preferred stock (together with preferred share stock certificate)*



4.4


Form of Depositary Agreement*



5.1



Opinion of Fox Rothschild LLP with respect to legality




5.2



Opinion of Sidley Austin LLP with respect to legality




23.1



Consent of Deloitte & Touche LLP




23.2



Consent of Fox Rothschild LLP (set forth in Exhibit 5.1)




23.3



Consent of Sidley Austin LLP (set forth in Exhibit 5.2)




24.1



Powers of attorney (included in the signature pages hereto)










*


To be filed by amendment or by a report on

Form 8-K

pursuant to
Regulation

S-K,

Item 601(b).






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Item 17.




Undertakings




The undersigned Registrant hereby undertakes:



(1) To file, during any period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective amendment to this registration statement:



(i) To include any prospectus required by Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933;



(ii) To reflect in the prospectus any facts or events arising after the effective date of the registration statement (or
the most recent post-effective amendment thereof) which, individually or in the aggregate, represent a fundamental change in the information set forth in this registration statement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any increase or decrease in volume
of securities offered (if the total dollar value of securities offered would not exceed that which was registered) and any deviation from the low or high end of the estimated maximum offering range may be reflected in the form of prospectus filed
with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) if, in the aggregate, the changes in volume and price represent no more than a 20 percent change in the maximum aggregate offering price set forth in the “Calculation of Registration
Fee” table in the effective registration statement; and



(iii) To include any material information with respect
to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in this registration statement or any material change to such information in this registration statement;




provided, however

, that the undertakings set forth in paragraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) above do not apply if the information
required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed with or furnished to the Commission by the Registrant pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
that are incorporated by reference into the registration statement, or is contained in a form of prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) that is part of the registration statement.



(2) That, for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each such post-effective amendment shall be
deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.



(3) To remove from registration by means of a post-effective amendment any of the securities being registered which remain unsold at the
termination of the offering.



(4) That, for the purpose of determining liability under the Securities Act of 1933 to any purchaser:



(i) Each prospectus filed by the Registrant pursuant to Rule 424(b)(3) shall be deemed to be part of the
registration statement as of the date the filed prospectus was deemed part of and included in the registration statement; and



(ii) Each prospectus required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2), (b)(5), or (b)(7) as part of a registration
statement in reliance on Rule 430B relating to an offering made pursuant to Rule 415(a)(1)(i), (vii) or (x) for the purpose of providing the information required by Section 10(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 shall be deemed to
be part of and included in the registration statement as of the earlier of the date such form of prospectus is first used after effectiveness or the date of the first contract of sale of securities in the offering described in the prospectus. As
provided in Rule 430B, for liability purposes of the issuer and any person that is at that date an underwriter, such date shall be deemed to be a new effective date of the registration statement relating to the securities in the registration
statement to which that prospectus relates, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof. Provided, however, that no statement made in a registration statement or prospectus that
is part of the registration statement or made in a document incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference into the registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement will, as to a purchaser with a time of contract of
sale prior to such effective date, supersede or modify any statement that was made in the registration statement or prospectus that was part of the registration statement or made in any such document immediately prior to such effective date.





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(5) That, for the purpose of determining liability of the Registrant under the
Securities Act of 1933 to any purchaser in the initial distribution of the securities:



The undersigned Registrant undertakes that in a
primary offering of securities of the undersigned Registrant pursuant to this registration statement, regardless of the underwriting method used to sell the securities to the purchaser, if the securities are offered or sold to such purchaser by
means of any of the following communications, the undersigned Registrant will be a seller to the purchaser and will be considered to offer or sell such securities to such purchaser:



(i) Any preliminary prospectus or prospectus of the undersigned Registrant relating to the offering required to be filed
pursuant to Rule 424;



(ii) Any free writing prospectus relating to the offering prepared by or on behalf of the
undersigned Registrant or used or referred to by the undersigned Registrant;



(iii) The portion of any other free
writing prospectus relating to the offering containing material information about the undersigned Registrant or its securities provided by or on behalf of the undersigned Registrant; and



(iv) Any other communication that is an offer in the offering made by the undersigned Registrant to the purchaser.



(6) That, for purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each filing of the Registrant’s annual report
pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (and, where applicable, each filing of an employee benefit plan’s annual report pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) that is
incorporated by reference in this registration statement shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide
offering thereof.



(7) Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933 may be permitted to
directors, officers and controlling persons of the Registrant pursuant to the indemnification provisions described herein, or otherwise, the Registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission such
indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act of 1933 and is, therefore unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the Registrant of expenses
incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the Registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being
registered, the Registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as
expressed in the Securities Act of 1933 and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.





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SIGNATURES



Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, the Registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it meets
all of the requirements for filing on

Form S-3

and has duly caused this registration statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in the City of Seattle, State of
Washington, on the 28th day of January, 2021.





































Washington Federal, Inc.



By:



/s/ Brent J. Beardall



Name:


Brent J. Beardall

Title:


President and Chief Executive Officer






POWER OF ATTORNEY



Each person whose signature appears below hereby constitutes and appoints Brent J. Beardall, Vincent Beatty and Justin Monroe, and each of
them acting individually, as his or her true and lawful


attorneys-in-fact


and agents, with full power of substitution and resubstitution, to execute for him or her and
in his or her name, place and stead, in any and all capacities, any and all amendments (including post-effective amendments) to this registration statement, as the


attorney-in-fact


and to file the same, with all exhibits thereto and any other documents required in connection therewith with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
granting unto said


attorneys-in-fact


and agents and their substitutes, and each of them, full power and authority to do and perform each and every act and thing
requisite and necessary to be done in connection therewith, as fully as he or she might or could do in person, hereby ratifying and confirming all that said


attorneys-in-fact


and agents, or any of them, or their or his or her substitutes, may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.



Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, this registration statement has been signed below by the following persons in the
capacities indicated below on January 28, 2021:




















































































Signature






Title






/s/ Brent J. Beardall



(Brent J. Beardall)




President and Chief Executive Officer and Director (Principal Executive Officer)




/s/ Vincent Beatty



(Vincent Beatty)




Chief Financial Officer (Principal Financial Officer)




/s/ Cory D. Stewart



(Cory D. Stewart)




Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer (Principal Accounting Officer)




/s/ Mark N. Tabbutt



(Mark N. Tabbutt)




Director




/s/ S. Steven Singh



(S. Steven Singh)




Director




/s/ Linda S. Brower



(Linda S. Brower)




Director




/s/ Thomas J. Kelley



(Thomas J. Kelley)




Director









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Signature






Title






/s/ Barbara L. Smith



(Barbara L. Smith)




Director




/s/ Stephen M. Graham



(Stephen M. Graham)




Director




/s/ David K. Grant



(David K. Grant)




Director




/s/ Randall H. Talbot



(Randall H. Talbot)




Director



The above information was disclosed in a filing to the SEC. To see the filing, click here.

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Other recent filings from the company include the following:

Washington: Thursday, October 14, 2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Oct. 15, 2021
On September - Oct. 1, 2021
On September - Sept. 29, 2021

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