My Bank's Response to Your Y2K Questions... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Greetings folks....

Several days ago I posted a query as to questions I should ask my bank as they claimed to be "compliant". Last evening they had their Y2K seminar and I will now report.

The Bank of Benton (KY) & Calvert Bank hosted this seminar, and based on all the questions I asked (See my post on 11-28) it does in fact appear that they are indeed INTERNALLY Compliant. Now this is a small-town bank, and their contingency plans are manual ones.

The biggest surprise to me is that the seminar was no bullsh-t fluff. They instructed the attendees to store food, water, power sources, heat sources and so on. They admitted that "no one knows the overall effects, but our information suggests severe problems". They were very concise and basic in their descriptions of the Y2K problem, and did not suggest once that "there's nothing to worry about."

They of course were advising folks not to panic and withdraw funds to store in their matress (They claimed this would make you a "target" of crime), but claim they will have money available, and plan to operate even if the power is out.

The only major disagreement we had is that they stated the Fed said it WILL NOT restrict the amounts of withdrawls. I pointed out that although the Fed may not restrict withdrawls, the President can, wherin the compliance officer blushed in embarrasment and sheepishly agreed that that was the case. It didn't soothe the crowd any.

But overall I was impressed with the presentation. Most churches out here are stockpiling and working with the community to survive ala 1870. This was so comforting to hear. I made some new friends, and was asked to print out some of your posts on this forum so they could be "on top of things" and learn perspectives on preparation, as most do not have internet access. Many of you should realize that your posts both optimistic and pessimistic are making huge differences in the way people perceive this problem, and how they should prepare. The impact we are all making on this forum to those that are reading it online or having it printed out and distributed is probably immeasurable based on the feedback I'm getting. Kudos to everyone posting, even those using choice 4-letter verbage to make points. It has a positive effect believe it or not.

The major points of the seminar were as follows:

-All their remediation and review of all software is complete. -Testing will be completed by Dec. 30 98 per FFEIC requirements. -There is no mainframe source code running their systems. They are using commercial software that has been assessed and remediated. -They have eliminated 90 programs that had the bug but are obsolete. -They have been audited and verified by an independant agency. -They have met the FFEIC requirements and have been inspected by that agency. -They are ordering additional cash reserves to have on hand. -Their contingency plans include verbal phone communication with other banks and institutions that may or may not be compliant. -They will go to a manual system (ledger books) for BASIC transactions if the power is down and/or their system fails. -They will report to the Fed via phone or mail. -If phones are out- local lines of credit will be established until communication is restored. -if TEOTWAWKI is realized, then cash and the bank will be obsolete. Think barter. But they are optimistic that won't happen. (it's blind optimism I agree, but hey- let them dream a little huh?) -Prepare as if there was going to be a 3 month Winter Storm that will have you snowed in. -DON'T PANIC!

That last one was stressed about every 10 minutes. The longer the rest of the nation sleeps, the bigger the panic will be when they do wake up.

Overall I was impressed they told the basic truth, and confirmed they don't know for sure what will happen but to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

We could only wish Chase Manhattan, First Chicago, Harris and CitiBank would be as honest as the bank of Benton was last night.

Thanks to all of you who gave me suggested questions to ask them. It helped me determine if they were honest about their remediation efforts.

-- INVAR (, December 04, 1998


Oh yeah! I almost forgot the most amazing thing!

They said they would put their statements of compliance and contingencies IN WRITING!!!

Now that's impressive.

-- INVAR (, December 04, 1998.

Very impressive. If that bank were located in my town, they would have my business immediately. Most banks here are still addressing Y2K by saying "Remediation is ON TRACK. We'll be ready by... Every depositor account is insured by the FDIC to $100,000, therefore you have no reason to worry." They haven't even begun to raise their own awareness and thinking on this issue to the level your bank has.

If your bank's contingency plans are never needed, that will be wonderful. If they are needed, it could make a BIG difference for your local community. It might just get them through a tough period with flying colors.

This is great news...uh, for your local community (but that's where it's most important for you).

Thanks for the update.


-- Arnie Rimmer (, December 04, 1998.

Way cool. Thank you for your effort and preserverience (-1 sp) in getting "behind" the bottom line.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, December 04, 1998.

Although I personally plan to take out every nickel I have, let me tell you, if I were going to keep any money at a bank, yours is definitely the kind that I would choose. Thanks for that comprehensive report, sounds like they have a good perspective. Keep on top of them, get it in writing, like they promised.

-- Jack (, December 04, 1998.

INVAR - that is good news. Needless to say, if the rest of the banking industry does not become compliant, and there are electrical and telecom problems, bla bla's systemic...bla bla know the drill. Your bank should be given kudos.

I wonder if it will be the small banks that survive while the beheomoths drop dread. That would certainly be interesting...

-- pshannon (, December 04, 1998.

Very good report. Many small banks in my area have claimed compliance and too will "put it in writing." If the shit hits the fan, all they do is close the doors and high-tail it!

-- Anti-Chainsaw (, December 04, 1998.


Way to go! Your experience shows what can be done on both the consumer side and the business side.

>Many of you should realize that your posts both optimistic and pessimistic are making huge differences in the way people perceive this problem, and how they should prepare.

Gawrsh! Now I'm all self-conscious! :-}

>Testing will be completed by Dec. 30 98 per FFEIC requirements.

Ah-ha! Remember what I wrote about watching out for use of the future tense? This means they fibbed about being (already) 100% compliant, since a proper professional would not claim that until _after_ the completion of testing. (What if the testing finds non-compliancy?) That's naughty-naughty of Bank of Benton!

Anyone who thinks of testing as being some kind of add-on to the basic Y2K remediation process needs to have a wrist slapped and to write 50 times on the whiteboard, "Testing is 50% of the Y2K remediation process." (And if s/he neglects to proofread that output upon completion, add another 50 for failure to apply the principle!)

>We could only wish Chase Manhattan, First Chicago, Harris and CitiBank would be as honest as the bank of Benton was last night.

Yeah ... well, one has to keep in mind that big-city banks may have some scarier considerations than small-town banks ... but continued consumer pressure for disclosure can affect them, too.

-- No Spam Please (, December 04, 1998.

The father of one of my son's classmates works for FFIEC (Federal Financial Institution Examination Council). In case you haven't heard of them they are an inter-agency body that sets standards for financial institutions. Membership is Federal Reserve Board (FRB) National Information Center (NIC) Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Institution Directory System (I.D.) National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS)

There is some good Y2K info. about banks and other fin. institutions o n their web-site

By the way, he is very concerned, but not a TEOTWAWKI subscriber.

-- Buddy (DC) (, December 04, 1998.

Jack: Like you, I plan to withdraw all my funds from my bank. Do you worry about being a crime target? I thought about putting my cash into something like real estate, saving a chunk for whether I might need in early 2000. Then I don't have cash but I am able to get my money back out after things settle down. What do you think? We also have a fireproof safe. Thanks for your comments.

-- Diane (, December 04, 1998.

Diane, the place to go is an old thread that we have on this forum, where a lot of ingenious ideas were presented. Here is an easy link:

Where to hide your loot......

-- Jack (, December 04, 1998.

BUT ---- they are finsihing early enough to be able to do legitimate testing. Then fix those problems, then retest, then fix those probelms, then paralllel process for a while, then install the revised programs, then retest.....

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, December 04, 1998.

pshannon, "I wonder if it will be the small banks that survive while the beheomoths drop dread. That would certainly be interesting..."

And refreshing. I wonder if we'll see "breakaway branches" that decide to stick with their local customers?

Good news, INVAR.


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 04, 1998.

Excellent post. Some common sense and reason seems to have been used by the bank management. They're trying to keep you as a customer! Being a small company, they have the benefit of less people (no room full of MBAs)involved in the decision process. Perhaps we really will see a return to localized, less centralized operations of companies as a result of this. But, then again, I could be wrong.

-- PNG (, December 04, 1998.

This thread featured in

They have hot linked back to this page. I guess the Feds do read message boards. Sorry if this has already been posted, I can't keep up with you guys..

-- K-man (, March 03, 1999.

Invar, I know you're much encouraged by this meeting, and so you should be. Great news! Far as I know, there have been no Y2K meetings at all here in Durham, NC, although I believe Chapel Hill might have had one. Glad to hear your bank seems on the ball and hope that attitude spreads.

-- Old Git (, March 03, 1999.

Gee, thats interesting: If you follow through the piece of this thread that they posted, the last entry, on 12/4/1998, is from someone asking me if I can recommend ways to protect money that is not being kept in the bank. The very next post is from me, also dated 12/4/1998, doing just that. (See above on this thread that you are reading now.)

I'm sure it was pure happenstance that the sample of this thread that got posted ended with someone expressing worries about their money not being safe outside of a bank, rather than someone suggesting steps that can be taken to alleviate these worries.

-- Jack (, March 03, 1999.

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