The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Tuesday named banking lawyer Arleas Upton Kea as its ombudsman.

An 11-year agency veteran, Ms. Kea (pronounced "key") will serve as a liaison with the banking industry and will field grievances from FDIC employees. All federal regulators were required to create ombudsman positions under the Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994.

In 1985, Ms. Kea joined the FDIC's legal division, where she pursued people who caused bank failures. In 1994, she began advising the agency on corporate issues such as the use of outside law firms.

Ms. Kea is the agency's second ombudsman. Carmen Sullivan held the job for six months before taking over the FDIC's compliance and consumer affairs division in January. Ms. Kea reports to Leslie A. Woolley, deputy for policy.

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