Please Advise...My Bank Says It's 100% Compliant... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Dear Folks...

Got a note today from my bank that exclaims: Year 2000 Problem, We're 100% Compliant and Ready....Are You?

They follow up with the date for a seminar (sales job) they are holding late next week that is open to the public, to calm Y2K fears in our community.

Since I've noticed of late that the banking powers-that-be are screeching loudly that the safest place for your cash is the bank, and that they expect their critical systems to be compliant before 2000, I firmly believe that banks are in really huge trouble. No way to communicate with outside systems etc., etc....

I plan to attend this seminar, and don't want to be jerked around by some numnut that doesn't want a run on his bank next year. Please advise me as to what kind of questions and/or comments you reccommend I ask these people to make sure they're being truthful about their own remediation and compliance efforts. I shall report back their responses to your questions, and we'll see about sorting truth from fiction. Thank you all in advance.

-- INVAR (, November 28, 1998


Please post the name of the bank so the group could do a little research. As to your request for questions:

1:) Did their testing include copying their production databases, programs and related files (all appropriately aged into 1999/2000) onto a parallel computer system (aka Time Machine) with the system date set forward? 2: Have they tested their communication links with other banks and the Federal Reserve? 3:) Have they had anyone from outside the bank audit or verify their claim of compliance? 4:) What are their contigency plans if there are unexpected problems with their "mission critical" systems? 5:) What are their contingency plans for a "run" on bank cash? And, will they give you a written guarantee that you can withdraw 100% of your cash on demand?

-- RD. ->H (, November 28, 1998.

A couple of simple steps for a starter:

1) Ask them when they completed their system testing (i.e., when they tested the whole she-bang, every last dang part of their business, all at once), being careful to use past tense ("complet_ed_") in your question. Listen carefully for any use of future tense ("will be ...", "expect ...", "should be done by ...") in their response. Any use of future tense invalidates their claim.

2) Ask them when/where/how you can examine the public written report by an independent Y2K tester that certified that they were 100% compliant and ready. Who certified that independent Y2K tester? Who certified the certifiers, etc.? Listen to their responses. Absence of opportunity for you to see such report invalidates their claim. (And they really ought to have that report physically present at the seminar!) Absence of testing/tester certification that you can independently verify invalidates their claim, and so on ...

-- No Spam Please (, November 29, 1998.

Actually, carrying out my step 2) to certainty is logically impossible ... :-)

2a) Ask them how they know for certain that the electric power supply _is_ (not "will be") 100% Compliant. Same question for water supply, other municipal services, FDIC, Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, ...

-- No Spam Please (, November 29, 1998.

Ask them how they plan on coping with any bank runs bearing in mind that the FDIC insures any individual account for up to $100,000, but have publically admitted that they only have 1.7% of this amount in their reserves for all FDIC "protected" accounts.

Don't let the numbnut squirm out of this one:o))... - get him/her to admit that FDIC "insurance" will be worth diddly squat when the runs hit.

Smile encouragingly as he/she replies with Clinton'esque responses.

Repeat your question if it is evaded.


-- Andy (, November 29, 1998.

That's easy. Ask them if they intend to use the same contingency plan currently being used in Asia:

If so, tell them you want your money NOW. Better them than you!

-- infoman (, November 29, 1998.

# # # 19981129


Check out this sample questionnaire by Blane Land (, 850-484-9940 ) for a starter:

< >

Create your own checklist of questions for this situation.

Good Luck!

Regards, Bob Mangus E-mail: < > # # #

-- Robert Mangus (, November 29, 1998.


As one who is familiar with this topic, I'd say that most of the comments you've already gotten are a good start. The most vulnerable area for many banks (i.e., those using non-complex vendor supplied software packages) is the power utility supplying them power and the telecommunications companies providing them communication ability.

No bank can HONESTLY say at this time that they are 100% Y2K-compliant because of those two factors. Even if they are internally 100% Y2K-compliant, failures in either or both of these external areas would be devastating.

Small institutions ($50 million or less in total assets) MIGHT be able to operate for a short period of time using manual procedures (generators, ledger books, etc.), but institutions larger than this would be virtually helpless in the event of power and/or telecommunications outages.

I would certainly quiz your banker extensively about their contingency plans. Foremost among the questions I would ask would be how the institution plans to handle significant cash withdrawals ("bank runs") and the liquidity problems that will arise from this problem. There will be runs in 1999; any bank that doesn't have a contingency plan for them is still in denial. I would also ascertain how they plan to clear customer checks if telecommunications are down, or operate their "compliant" computer system if the power is out.

Based on what I have personally seen, banks who claim Y2K compliance at this time do so based on public relations needs, not actual facts. There are no Y2K-compliant banks when both internal and external factors are considered.

-- Nabi Davidson (, November 30, 1998.

Ask them how they will handle automaic trnsactions that fail on the other end - transactions coming in that don't get sent, and those going out that don't get received correctly, or don't get "aknowledged" by the other computer, or those that "get aknowledged" but are wrongly posted at the other end.

What are their manual backups for these problems?, and how do you get hold of them past year 2000 to resolve issues? How will they set up their "help" desks? What if telephones are down intermittently? When do transactions go through? How do they intend to cover checks if/when automatic paycheck deposits from the government(s) fail?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 30, 1998.

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