bank wants to hear from you : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I am from a small to medium sized bank holding company that would like your help in developing the best possible community seminar. I plan to be as forthright as I know how about our current status. Presently, we have tested all internal systems that process customer information, from deposits to loans, from wires to direct deposit. However, some interfaces have not been tested due to the potential for harm to our live production equipment. (If the interface did have a problem, it could bring us down before 1-1-00) We have upgraded all hardware, software and critical third party service providers. We realize, however, that because we have never experienced a situation like Y2K, we are not experts and may miss something that our best trained staff didn't find. Therefore, we have purchased and will be installing a LARGE generator that will sustain our in-house systems in the event of electrical failure. We will be using two-way radios and courrier should we experience a failure of telecommunications. Additionally, because we are not a large institution, we have in place plans to resume manual transaction processing, just like we used to do twenty years ago - of course, we would have to shorten our hours of operation to allow for the additional time this procedure would take. We are also surveying our customers to determine the amount of additional cash we need to have on site to supply their needs. We have opened direct lines of borrowing from the Federal Reserve to aid in the additional cash need. I will not say that we are compliant. I will, however, say that we have tested and reviewed all hardware, software, third party service providers, environmental factors and cash needs. If you were attending this seminar, what else would you like to know about my bank? I really want to give my community as much "real" information as possible without sounding too optimistic or too pessimistic. I realize I may be encouraging customers to withdraw cash by not saying everyting will be fine, but I think they need to know the bank's current status more than just more reassurances. What do you think? Thank you for your time in participating.

-- y2kproject coordinator (abank@smalltown.usa), March 09, 1999


What a refreshing entry. I was in banking 20 years ago and remember the inhouse posting well!!! I've been wondering what my friends in the rural banks are going to do with regard to communication.

I commend you for your approach ... I wonder what you CEO thinks of what you're doing????


-- tim daniels (, March 09, 1999.

Of course, my CEO wants to protect our assets as much as possible - after all, our assets are not entirely ours (most are deposits of customers that must be protected for their use). However, he knows that the community must be informed about this issue and come to their own conclusions as to how to handle their financial affairs. We are truely a "community" bank.

-- y2kproject coordinator (abank@smalltown.usa), March 09, 1999.

I would like to open an account...


-- Roland (, March 09, 1999.

Give me another month, Roland. We are rolling out Internet banking, hopefully next month. And yes, we have tested it for Y2K operability. Really, I want to know what else you think I should disclose about either my bank or preparing for Y2K. Let me know.

-- y2kproject coordinator (abank@smalltown.usa), March 09, 1999.

What is the status of businesses in your loan portfolio?

-- Watchful (, March 09, 1999.

You know, if there were a true "community" bank when I was in commercial lending ... I would have been there in a New York minute!!!

A lot of them ended in the early 80's ... many more left in the late 80's.

Glad to hear that your CEO has a conscious ... it is rare in the banking arena these days.


-- tim daniels (, March 09, 1999.

I must be misunderstanding something obvious here. Please help me.

"However, some interfaces have not been tested due to the potential for harm to our live production equipment. (If the interface did have a problem, it could bring us down before 1-1-00)"

See if I follow this. If you test this interface today and it has a problem it will crash your system. If it has no problem, the test will be fine. Therefore you will wait until 1-1-00 to run it and if it has a problem it will bring down your system then? What am I missing here?

-- Ken Seger (, March 09, 1999.

y2kproject: why the anonymity?

Just curious.

-- a (a@a.a), March 09, 1999.

Actually, Ken, we have developed a "business resumption contingency plan" for all interfaces not tested. Because we cannot control the Y2K readiness of say the Federal Home Loan Bank, our interface to them will not be tested until actual activity on 01-03-00. If a failure occurs, we have a contingency, designed in conjuction with their staff, to conduct business through other media (ie. fax if available, e-mail if available, phone if available, courrier, etc.) A similar workable contingency for each item has been developed over the past twelve months.

As for the status of commercial loans, we pulled commercial loan customers with aggregate debt above $XXX, (what we consider material) and required a meeting with each customer and the appropriate loan officer to discuss Y2K preparations. Also, we recently required a follow-up contact with these customers to evaluate progress and discuss cash needs. Finally, a Y2K survey is required for all new commercial accounts at loan application, beginning last September ('98). We've followed similar steps for commercial depositors who may need to pull deposits if they have not made appropriate Y2K preparations.

If you have other suggestions, please respond. Again, we're not experts and value the input from those of you that may have more expertise. So many forum posters seem unimpressed with bank progress, perhaps you have suggestions that can help us. Thank you.

-- y2kproject coordinator (abank@smalltown.usa), March 09, 1999.

Well...the items that you can't test due to the impact to your production systems may raise some questions. It might be a good idea to elaborate upon the impact of this and discuss what contingency plans the bank has in place.

As a customer, I would be asking about direct deposit transactions and how can I ensure that my money will be transferred successfully from my employer. What questions should I be asking my employer to make sure HIS payroll systems that feed your bank will be compliant.

Just some thoughts...hope this helps.


By the are to be commended for your efforts!

-- Roland (, March 09, 1999.

Mr. Coordinator. I applaud your frank and honest approach to this problem. I wish we had many more like yourself. Keeping your customers informed of your progress and contingency plans I believe will help their confidence in your organization. Explain to them that this is indeed a one time event, and while you have taken every possible precaution, there may unforseen problems. Remind them that you will be there for them should the need arise. I certainly would feel much more secure with your statement, than I do now with the usual "we'll be ready, no problem" that we're hearing from just about everyone.

If you wouldn't mind, please tell us at least what state you are located in.

And please keep in mind that we do have some, well, extreme views on this forum. However we also have very many intelligent and bright people with very good ideas. I salute your courage in bringing this topic to us. <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 09, 1999.

I think I would like some hard documented assurances that my money shall not mysteriously disappear into cyberspace whether it be due to Y2K or some unknown cyber-mishap. I should like to have certified authentic documentation procedures that are not reliant upon technology set-up and in place before the turnover that demonstrates that my bank has hard-copy documentation that corresponds with any hard-copy documentation that I have. Somehow I don't see that happening.

I really don't know what you can do to reassure people. This family has already experienced first-hand the big battle of having hard-copy documentation with cleared checks demonstrating that bills have been paid and it still doesn't have enough strength or merit up against what a computer has to say. If it isn't in the computer system as such then it just ain't so no matter how much documentation and cleared checks you have to demonstrate it.

I only see the same thing occurring next year if things don't go according to plan. It's all very well telling people to have hard- copies of everything, but if all the corresponding entities don't have the same hard-copy documentation relating to same then your still going to have an uphill battle between your hard-copy documentation and that of what a computer system has to say. I think things could even be hampered more by a delayed effect in any system errors. The only hard-copy documented evidence that people can possible have shall be until the end of 1999. What about the billing month January , 2000, and the months after that. Supposing if the system functions for a while, but is quietly being corrupted, after which, the obvious problems start occurring to customers whose statements indicate that incorrect withdrawals have been made. How do you challenge these with your hard-documentation that only reliably goes up until the end of 1999? (Of course, I'm assuming that we make it until the end of the year functioning as is). I'm also assuming that you shall be amongst the lucky ones to be able to have your numerous requests for hard-copy documentation of all your pertinent information met. But, as I said this documentation only demonstrates your status until the end of 1999.

I really don't know how else to answer your questions. It just seems unfortunate to me that like it or not we are all faced with this delimma and I think that for a lot of people the risks are very great.

It does seem quite clear to me that the root of the problem is the unknown of what "Y2K" is going to present. The panic that might ensue shall come about because of Y2K and not because of anything else.

-- Lurking (, March 09, 1999.

If I were a customer of your bank, I would want to know that my assets were safe from Y2K problems initiated someplace else. I, too, applaud what you are doing and your forthrightness. My concern, however, is the federal government's penchant for getting involved, particularly if things get bad and there's a bank run. You can be 100 percent compliant, yet your customers stand to lose a great deal if the government shuts down the banks. Remember, it's been done before. Good luck.

-- Vic (, March 09, 1999.

Sorry about the anonymous postings - you see I've posted on forums before and the e-mails got a little out of control. (Bankers aren't always highly thought of, you know?) Anyway, I was hoping for more of a public dialogue in one place - and you've responded accordingly. Thanks for all of the input. Part of our overall contingency plan includes the printing of all pertinent reports, account balances, payment streams, etc. on Friday, Dec. 31, 1999. Doing this prior to midnight (in case electricity fails) means that we will have to close at 12:00 noon on this date. We will advertise this well in advance of the actual date to prevent last minute complications. Also, we will be printing a copy of what's known as the ACH warehouse. This report tells us how much Mr. or Mrs. Soandso will be receiving in the next week from ACH items (ie. Social Security, Disability, etc) Therefore, if for some reason these benefits are not correctly deposited, we will advance these customers the correct funds based on the report totals. We have however tested with the Federal Reserve and found our link to them to be Y2K compliant. Also, our ACH staff has tested the program they use to handle our commercial payroll customers (those using us for direct deposit to their employees accounts) and found the program to be compliant. We then provided an updated version of the product to these customers for proper installation. We have checked back with them to make sure they had no installation problems. I would ask your employer if they have had similar communication with your bank. By the way, I'm a "she" (no offense taken, I seem to get that a lot) and located in Ky. My thanks to you all again. I don't think I could have gotten this honest of a response from any customer surveys or lobby polls. You've been a big help.

-- y2kproject coordinator (abank@smalltown.usa), March 09, 1999.

Boy is this thread a breath of fresh air or what? Honesty, ya can't beat it!

Coupla thoughts for you:

Didn't see your last post before mine. Looks like you have most of that already covered. Makes me wish I were in Kentucky.

-- David (, March 09, 1999.

turning off the unordered list

-- Just (, March 09, 1999.


David's Customer concern #2 concerns me. Our checks are direct deposited from the county. In December 1998 our County finally decided to appoint a Y2K director and committee. We personnaly know one member of that committee who said the members got into such an arguement at the second committee meeting that the members walked out although there is still a Y2K director. We have been debating over whether or not we should change our direct deposit to check form (guess we could stockpile the checks if banks are closed). We also are finding out where the County banks so we could open an account there. Would that get us a better chance at being able to deposit said check and draw on it? If banks reopen, can they "close" their system so that outside, noncompliant banks cannot corrupt their system? That is if the Fed is up and OK?

My husband did tell his immediate superior that I wanted the county to pay us in silver or gold coin in January and all he got was a big grin...

-- Valkyrie (, March 09, 1999.

y2Kproject coordinator I salute your effort. I only wish there were a lot more like you.

I have to agree with everything David has to say on this subject.

I especially agree with taking the leadership role. By demonstrating that you are reaching out to deal with the interconnectivity of the problem by drawing other community leaders together to deal with how the community as a whole can get through any unforeseen difficulties can only contribute a sense of assurance to your citizens that as a community you can deal with whatever happens.

Good luck with the community seminar and please keep us posted how it goes.

-- Suburb (, March 09, 1999.

I work for a major bank in the midwest on the teller line..I have to smile and give the company's line..I don't know if everything is fine but I can not say it is or it isn't..It bothers me because I have been at the bank for a very long time and have got to know a lot of the customers that I have to play "happy face" to..I wish I worked for your bank...

-- rooster (, March 09, 1999.

Midwest bank teller - I am furious that your bank's management has not communicated to ALL employees (even the "little" tellers - a term I hate considering tellers are "the bank" to most customers)its Y2K plans and current status. Ask questions. Ask your supervisor where your bank stands. If I were not in charge of my bank's Y2K project, I would want them to tell me everything about it. If your bank cannot, or even worse, will not tell you more information about its project, my advice to you is start looking for another job. I'm afraid you may find yourself without one on 01-03-00. I wish I could offer you one here. Thanks for your time today.

-- y2kproject coordinator (abank@smalltown.usa), March 09, 1999.

y2kproject coordinator:

Thought you might be interested in the following quotes from March issue of Secondary Marketing Executive (mortgage-backed securities trade publication - hardly a right-wing wacko extremist rag):

"It's too late to avert disaster" Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America - the leading authority for certifying year 2000 compliance in testimony before House Ways and Means Committee. "The focus of conversation among those best versed in this issue is how are we going to clean up after what appears to be an inevitable train wreck". "The GAO estimates that up to 700 banks could be forced to close on 1/2/00 if check clearing software this late date we are looking at the certainty of bank failures"

My address is valid. E-mail me if you would like to discuss with another small town community banker.

-- Dave W (, March 09, 1999.

To teller,

After spending over a decade on the commercial side of the banking industry, I left. After a few years of reflection, I find that is basically because I realized most banks (and bankers) want the community and customers to believe that they have their best interest at heart ... while all along, they predominantly look out for themselves.

And for others who view this entry, please remember the tellers and those on the front line are the least valued (but most strategic) in the banking establishment. It is no wonder they feel used and abused ... it is because they are. Used and abused by management and often the customer.

Something I learned --- always tell the truth to everyone. And if someone tells/infers that/instructs you to tell half truths ... find another place to work. You will never be truly happy being dishonest with yourself.

Integrity!!! Maybe Y2k will remind us of this cornerstone value of community.

My 2 cents, Tim

-- tim daniels (, March 09, 1999.

y2k project coordinator..Perhaps I have given you the wrong impression..I know where the corporation stands on this issue..We were given literature from the corp (only last week) it gives the standard "business as usual"..I know that it is a lie but you can't question the powers that be in fear of not being a team player..( Ive tried it before and nothing ever changes)Thats why Im still "just a teller"..I have a lot of years invested ,but I refuse to play the corp BS and therefore you are never going to advance..truth is not an option..But your right I probably won't have a job next year..but I think it will be for the best, I m tired of sitting on the fence..

-- rooster (, March 09, 1999.

Also see the article at this thread:

-- Kevin (, March 09, 1999.


Like you, my wife is employed by a small town bank and is working the Y2K issues (they just went through their OCC and 10K hoops). I'm printing out this thread for her to take to work and share with the management staff. Your plans sound similar except you've gone the extra step of the generator, which I still encourage my wife to push for. Maybe this thread will help that battle.

From these posts and personal knowledge, I'm getting a feeling that despite "conventional wisdom", local banks may be the ones to come through Y2K most intact. Now if only the infrastructure they rely on can do as well.


-- Wildweasel (, March 09, 1999.

Dear MS. y2kprojectcoordinator,

Here is a question from MisterorMissSoandSo,

If I have an automatic monthly withdrawal from my checking account, such as a mortgage payment, would you advise me to discontinue it? If my checking account has a 2-year history of an automatic monthly withdrawal of $1,000 to a mortgage company, and suddenly on Jan. 15, 2000, that company's computer tries to withdraw $1,000,000, is there something in place on your end that would catch and prevent this?

-- RUOK (, March 09, 1999.

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