WASHINGTON -- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has created a new division of compliance and consumer affairs.

The office will combine responsibilities now divided between the division of supervision and the office of consumer affairs.

Paul L. Sachtleben, the FDIC's deputy director of resolutions, will head the new division. Janice M. Smith, who has been director of the office of consumer affairs since 1987, will be associate director.

"This new division will allow the FDIC to be more responsive to consumers and bankers and allow us to broaden our outreach initiatives," said acting FDIC Chairman Andrew C. Hove Jr.

"We also will streamline and consolidate the FDIC's efforts to ensure bank compliance with consumer, civil rights, and fair housing laws and the Community Reinvestment Act."

The new division will have a staff complement of 500, of which just 18 will be new positions. The bulk of the staff will be the agency's 437 specialized compliance examiners and their support staff.

Mr. Sachtleben, an FDIC veteran, will report to John Stone, executive director for supervision, resolutions, and compliance.

"We've toyed with this for years," Mr. Stone said Tuesday. "We finally decided that for credibility of the program and to have people focused on that single issue would be better for the agency."

Mr. Sachtleben began his career as a bank examiner in 1969, moving up to assistant regional director in the FDIC's Dallas office. He left the agency for a job at the Bracewell & Patterson law firm in Texas, followed by a stint at the Resolution Trust Corp. Mr. Sachtleben returned to the FDIC in 1991 to help set up and administer the resolutions division.

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