30% of Banks miss Deadlines

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Over 30% of Banks Admit Missing Y2K Deadline, Contradicting Government Assurances

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 10, 1999--Among banks and S&Ls responding to a Weiss Y2K readiness survey mailed Dec. 30, 1998, a surprisingly large percentage -- 32% -- admit that they missed a critical Y2K deadline.

Please read the entire article.


-- Mike Lang (webflier@erols.com), February 11, 1999


"Over 30% of Banks Admit Missing Y2K Deadline, Contradicting Government Assurances"


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- (BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 10, 1999 -- Among banks and S&Ls responding to a Weiss Y2K readiness survey mailed Dec. 30, 1998, a surprisingly large percentage -- 32% -- admit that they missed a critical Y2K deadline.

These institutions report that they did not complete remediation and testing of internal mission-critical systems by Dec. 31, 1998. Furthermore, 20% do not anticipate completion until March. This implies a failure to comply with the federal requirement that "testing of internal mission-critical systems should be substantially complete" by Dec. 31, 1998. (a)

This finding directly contradicts recent assurances from banking regulators that only 4% of banking institutions have been rated "unsatisfactory" or "needs improvement."

"I don't understand how the authorities can give 'satisfactory' Y2K compliance ratings to institutions that have apparently missed a critical compliance deadline," commented Martin Weiss, PhD., chairman of Weiss Ratings, Inc. "I personally believe the authorities are either using outdated information in their pronouncements or simply sugar-coating the truth. In the long run, I feel this can only damage their credibility and create the conditions for the very consumer panic everyone wants to avoid."

To date, 909 banks and S&Ls have responded to the Weiss survey. Among these, only 620 (68%) stated that they had completed the required Y2K fixes on all internal mission-critical systems by Dec. 31, while 289 (32%) reported that they had missed the deadline. Among these, 184 institutions (20% of respondents) stated that they did not anticipate completing the fixes until after Feb. 28.

Final results of the Weiss survey with additional analysis, will be released in early March.

"Furthermore," Weiss adds, "we must assume that, on average, institutions that did not respond are more likely to be late in fixing their Y2K problems than those that did."


Weiss Ratings Inc. issues financial safety grades on over 16,000 banks, S&Ls, insurers, HMOs, Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans, and security brokerage firms.

(a) The Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council (FFIEC), which coordinates various banking regulators, including the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, clarified this requirement in an Aug. 28, 1998 email to bank CEOs, entitled "Year 2000 Questions And Answers," stating: "The FDIC expects each financial institution to meet the following key milestones in the Year 2000 testing process by the date indicated: ...Dec. 31, 1998 -- testing of internal mission- critical systems should be substantially complete."

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), February 12, 1999.

Funny, they get mad when I miss 30% of my payment deadlines. Do you suppose there is a double standard in use?

-- Lobo (hiding@woods.com), February 12, 1999.

Here's another bank that missed the December 31, 1998 deadline...


[begin snip]

The Federal Reserve Board, which clears bank-to-bank payments and automated payments such as electric bills, has certified 98% of its mission-critical systems as year 2000-compliant, with the rest due to be completed by April 1, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based agency said.

[end snip]

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), February 12, 1999.

And this, of course, is the "most-prepared industry" in the world of y2k repairs. If you win a race against a field of one-legged men, it doesn't necessarily mean you're fast.

-- rick blaine (y2kazoo@hotmail.com), February 12, 1999.

This sounds like great news to me. A project this size should probably have a figure around the 50% mark in my estimation... This may be a little better than the best we've ever done. (the half-full view)

The problem with this is that we may not avert a disaster. We should prepare. (the half-empty view)

-- Reporter (foo@foo.bar), February 12, 1999.

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