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1997-08-29 13:02:55


Banker Warns: Lines of Code vs. Lines of Credit



A banker with the Union Bank of California admits that his bank has 22 million lines of code. He also warns businessmen that their lines of credit are at risk if their code is at risk.

There is no good news in this report.

* * * * * * *

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.

There is good reason for concern: in a recent survey, 65 percent of computer system managers said the Year 2000 problem poses a large risk to their businesses. . . .

This is a serious concern right now, with experts warning that Year 2000 programs should be in place by December 31, 1998. Many large companies will need an entire year of testing to be assured that they are Year 2000-compliant. But according to one recent survey, only half of all American businesses have even started the process.


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