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Zions Bank will get advice on its community reinvestment activities from a newly formed panel of community members.

Banks are "encouraged" under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 to help meet the credit needs of all elements of their communities. Congress renewed emphasis in community reinvestment activities as part of the savings and loan bailout act passed in 1989.Part of a bank's federal rating is based on community reinvestment performance.

While Zions Bank has long been committed to the community reinvestment program, it is becoming "more heavily committed than we had been before," said Ronald S. Hanson, bank vice chairman.

The panel will advise Zions Bank in 12 areas, ranging from types of credit the bank extends to its community involvement and development efforts.

"What we are doing as part of our effort to determine community needs is to organize a community board of outside people to help determine what is needed and what our priorities are," Hanson said.

Panel members are: Sharon Abegglen, Community Action; Kerry Bate, Division of Economic Development; Lance Blackwood, city/county building; Bill Erickson, Utah Housing Finance Agency; Steve Erickson, Utah Issues; Maria Garclaz, Salt Lake Neighborhood Housing Services; Laura Landikusic, city/county building; Jerry Merrill, Lotus Project; and Pat Poulin, Travelers Aid Society.

"Most (panel members) work for nonprofit organizations that have expertise dealing with low income and moderate income families and expertise in dealing with affordable housing," Hanson said. "They're all . . . involved in the community in other ways so they bring to our board a wealth of ideas."

Representing Zions Bank on the panel are: Ronald S. Hanson, chairman; Tom Harding, senior vice president; George Hofmann, senior vice president; Ron Holmes, executive vice president of Zions Mortgage Co.; Kent Moon, senior vice president; Susan Mooney, Zions Bank Board of Directors; and Kathy Sheaffer, community reinvestment act specialist.