William A. Longbrake, a veteran banker and former regulator, has retired as a vice chairman at Washington Mutual Inc., where he worked for 26 years.

Mr. Longbrake, 65, announced his retirement Tuesday and said he has become a director of First Financial Northwest Inc., which owns the $1.2 billion-asset First Savings Bank Northwest in Renton, Wash.

He joined Wamu in 1982, becoming the chief financial officer of what was then Washington Mutual Savings Bank, after stints at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Despite his departure from Wamu, Mr. Longbrake said he intended "to keep engaged in industry activities" through a variety of roles. He will remain on the board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. He will also remain a consultant to the Financial Services Roundtable, where he has advised the Hope Now alliance, an industry group focused on encouraging loan workout programs by lenders and servicers.

"There was no specific reason" for retiring from Wamu "other than the time had come," Mr. Longbrake said. "My activities at Washington Mutual have been diminishing steadily over a very long period of time, and this is essentially time to move on."

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