Bankers looking for good community reinvestment ideas have been tapping into a data base of successful programs done by other institutions.

Since it was created six months ago, about 200 bankers have called the American Bankers Association's information bank of reinvestment projects.

The data base has profiles of 250 reinvestment projects, covering 60 main topics.

ABA can carve up the data base any way a member wants.

Using a key-word search, the software can pull up examples of specific types of projects, activities done in a particular geographic location, or ventures sponsored by banks of a certain size.

The banker gets a one- to three-page description as well as a copy of the project's budget. Each profile includes a contact name, address, and phone number so members can call the bank for more information.

ABA members get the first five profiles free, then pay $10 for each additional report.

Most of the bankers tapping into the ABA's data base are looking for specific advice, according to Elinor Dumont, the ABA's manager of documents and data base services.

"Some banks have just had their Community Reinvestment Act exam and know where they need help," Ms. Dumont said.

The most requested profiles, she said, cover affordable housing lending and flexible underwriting guidelines.

Other profiles explain how to publish a community newsletter, how to work with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and how to counsel low-income borrowers.

Martin Ryan, a branch manager at $520 million-asset Centier Bank, Whiting, Ind., said he used the data base to get ideas for revitalizing his area's downtown.

The ABA sent Mr. Ryan four examples of what other banks have done to spark development in their communities. Mr. Ryan said he plans to call those banks for more information.

"I was at a loss, and this provided me something to go on," Mr. Ryan said. "The concept is great."

Bankers can call Ms. Dumont to list a program or to request profiles at 202-663-5228.

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