N.J.-chartered banks ready to face 2000

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N.J.-chartered banks ready to face 2000

Thursday, April 1, 1999 By MICHAEL MARKOWITZ Staff Writer NEW BRUNSWICK -- Almost all of New Jersey's state-chartered banks and thrifts have complied with directives to make their computer systems year 2000-ready, the state's top banking regulator told an industry forum. With Wednesday's key deadline for the testing of systems, Banking and Insurance Commissioner Jaynee LaVecchia said 99 percent of the state-chartered financial institutions her office has examined received "satisfactory" grades. But LaVecchia, speaking before more than 100 bankers and lawyers at a dinner Tuesday sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association, said the industry has to do a better job of easing the public's fears about widespread computer failures on Jan. 1. LaVecchia said she is still hearing reports that people plan to pull money out of their accounts before the new year, fearing that they will be wiped out by a programming glitch that could cause computers to mistake Jan. 1, 2000, for Jan. 1, 1900, and shut down. "New Jersey is in a good situation, and we should all be proud of it," LaVecchia said, noting that 15 percent of her department's examiners are working exclusively on Y2K readiness isssues. Federal regulators are handling Y2K compliance for nationally chartered banks, which include the largest ones operating in New Jersey. LaVecchia's remarks on the year 2000 problem came as she outlined her department's agenda at a forum in New Brunswick sponsored by the state bar association. It was the first appearance at the annual event by LaVecchia, who was confirmed as commissioner in September. LaVecchia said several important issues would be keeping her staff busy this year, among them the explosion in applications for new state-chartered commercial banks. More than 20 charter applications have been filed since mid-1997, and LaVecchia said she welcomed these new community banks as a counterbalance to the large institutions that have been moving into the state. LaVecchia said she also wants to help guide legislation that will continue to relax interstate banking restrictions. A bill making its way through the Legislature would allow out-of-state banks to set up branches in New Jersey without having to buy an existing bank. The bill, which mirrors measures passed elsewhere, would open New Jersey's borders to more out-of-state banks, but it would also create reciprocity for New Jersey institutions, LaVecchia said.

-- Norm (nwo@hotmail.com), April 01, 1999


Norm, if you insist on posting "good" news. Please dig up some on the food supply chain and post it. I would like to see some good news on it and have seen very little. Show me that food will be plentiful in the Year 2000. Sincerely, Apple

-- Apple (villarta@itsnet.com), April 01, 1999.

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