Gary Washington is financially bilingual. With fellow bankers he speaks of balance sheets and profitability; with community activists he talks of corporate responsibility and civic pride.

To succeed at his new job as senior vice president at LaSalle National Bank, he'll have to maintain that fluency. Mr. Washington, 35, is the head of community reinvestment activities at the Chicago-based bank -- a job that LaSalle scrambled to create after regulators criticized its community lending practices.

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