WASHINGTON - Longtime New Hampshire banking commissioner A. Roland Roberge, 67, died Saturday in Manchester after suffering a sudden illness.

Mr. Roberge, who had headed New Hampshire's banking department since 1977, had been the state's longest-serving banking commissioner. His fourth, six-year term expired in January, but he continued to hold the job while Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and the state's independently elected Executive Council mulled whether to reappoint him or find a successor.

Mr. Roberge was helped the state handle a wave of bank failures beginning in late 1991, according to an article in Sunday's edition of The Union Leader of Manchester.

"He oversaw an industry that went through some very difficult times in the late 1980s and early 1990s," Michael C. Whitney, president of Fleet Bank of New Hampshire, told the newspaper. "He helped to provide stability … and helped to bridge a gap between local small businesses and New Hampshire banks and regulators at the state and federal level."

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