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1997-05-29 00:00:00


State Banks: Almost Nothing Has Been Done


This report is from an advisor to state banking associations. He is responding to a message I posted on Peter de Jager's discussion forum. I painted a grim picture of the future of banking: a breakdown in the paymnents system. He is not sure things are as bad as I forecast. But what he describes is not going to calm most people.

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From: Tue,27 May 1997 12:22:37 -0400 (EDT) To: Subject: Re: Awareness: Silver Bullets vs. Gold Coins

I am responding from one of those big banks where I do provide Y2K advisory services. Furthermore, I have recently (March, 1997) attended and spoken at some state bank association Y2K briefings that have JUST BEEN CREATED. The state bankers were there because they are FLUNKING their audits on Y2K points - ie Not having ANY plan. Most of the State Bank Associations have their 1997 meeting agendas full and are only now adding Y2K conferences to the 1998 agendas. As a result I put together some Y2K planning material for financial institutions just so they would have something to show auditors.

Yes, the Federally chartered banks (most - all? - would any admit if they did not?) do have plans started and people working on it - but that is a long way from having the job done. The hardware and software bought by banks comes from the same sources as everyone else. So do the people. Replacing 3000 or 4000 PC's and all the financial software on them is a big - big job when added to the mainframe (Y2K) software problems. Knowing which PC's must be replaced and which can be upgraded or rolled-over is a daunting inventory task. The triage on the software is an even bigger task. Then comes planning and timing - some things must be done a step at a time. Other things can be done globally via LAN or WAN but it must still be co-ordinated. Sure - I can take in dates in many formats but I sure would like to know that '02/05/01' means 'Feb -05-2001' and not '2002-May-01' - ambiguety will kill my date calcs for legally binding activities.

Also, financial institutions have security issues and communication issues that are are not common among other businesses. Frankly, I can't even go into some of the issues in a public format like this - and that's why a lot of truly useful information will never see the light of day. In any case, all of these issues must be addressed by the end of 1998 according to the Chief Federal Bank Examiners office.

Gary North paints a grim picture. It may not end up that bad. It would not have to be anywhere near that bad to be bad enough. As for me - I'm doing the work - but I've got a place in the weeds too.

{usual disclaimers apply}

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