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1998-02-28 17:11:52


California Banker Is Fairly Forthright About the Risks



An official witrh the Union Bank of California has sent out a warning to its customers. He admits that it is not compliant and had over 20 million lines of code to go through and correct. He also admits that its clients are at risk. Some of them may not be able to repay their loans.

Multiply this warning by every bank on earth.

Then decide whether they (whoever "they" are) can fix each bank and get all of the fixes to integrate with all the others. If they can't, then the banking system, as a system, may cease to exist.

After you have decided, start making decisions as to your personal investment portfolio.

* * * * * * * *

Bankers are concerned for two reasons. One is that they have their own computer software to remedy or replace. For example my company, Union Bank of California, one of the nation's top 25 commercial banks, has to assess 22 million lines of code on its mainframe computers and millions more lines of code on mid-range platforms. We are also dependent upon a large number of vendors, whose failure to perform could affect our operations.

But beyond that, bankers like me are concerned about the Year 2000 impact on our customers. The problem requires tremendous planning to deal with the business issues, well beyond the systems issues. Will your cash-management operations be impacted? What liabilities will you have? This is bound to place a strain on many of our clients. Those who experience Year 2000-related disruptions may not be able repay loans and maintain their critical business accounts.


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