FleetBank maybe ready ?

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The following text arrived with my latest statement.

Feet and Year 2000 It is Business as Usual at Fleet Regardless of the Date

Year 2000 Readyness Disclosure

By dedicating 300 people and up to $150 million to prepare for the Year 2000, Fleet expects to deliver the same quality products and service today, tomorrow,on January1,2000 and beyond

As of January 1,1999, 100% of Fleet's most critical internal systems have passed Year 2000 readiness tests and are back in production for final testing.

If you have questions, please talk with your Fleet Bank Representative or call 1-800-841-4000


*****Bold emphasis added*****

I dunno,this does not really give me that warm and fussy feeling..

-- rickjohn (rickjohn1@yahoo.com), April 24, 1999


Hmmm there should have been some bold in there oh well, at least its readable :-))

-- rickjohn (rickjohn1@yahoo.com), April 24, 1999.

My problems with this are grammatical:

First, there's the matter of a warm and "fussy" feeling (Kind of like my daughter's wet diaper state, I guess).

Secondly, there's the title: "Year 2000 Readyness Disclosure". Wouldn't that be "readiness? Gayla?

I am used to getting comforting statements from financial institutions, however, and I assume there is a way out of legal obligation crafted into each one.

-- Sara Nealy (keithn@aloha.net), April 24, 1999.

I received an amendment to my bank services agreement in my March statement. Under correction of errors the bank has added the following provision: You agree that your statements will be deemed final and that all activity and balances are correct for all purposes after thirty (30) days from the statement date.

This used to be 6 months.

Another provision states that the number of days a bank statement shall be deemed received from 5 calendar days to 3 calendar days. You shall notify the Bank immediately if you do not receive your statement within ten days after your regular statement date. Your statement is deemed final and correct after thirty days from the statement date and the bank shall not be responsible for any claims or errors after that date.

I hope my non compliant bank credits me with an extra $30,000...

The statement date varies by a day or two from month to month. This coupled with the delay from the USPS can make it hard to tell exactly when I should get the statement. Am I being paranoid or does this seem to be an unusual burden on the banking customer? They seem to be sliding in the rules to cover their behinds. There are a number of other new rules besides these.

-- mb (mdbutler@hotmail.com), April 24, 1999.

Rickjohn, I don't have that tingling feeling either. Always be wary of word games. "As of Jan 1, 1999, all of Fleet's most critical internal systems have passed year 2000 readiness tests". Most critical systems? I wonder how their less critical systems are doing. I wonder how their systems not labeled critical are doing. I wonder how they define 'critical system'. Until they say that their entire system and company are 100% Y2K compliant and that their suppliers and vendors are likewise compliant, they and we are not out of the woods.

-- A.P. (grim2k@hotmail.com), April 24, 1999.

Agreed. This is an exercise in "how can we put the fact that we're not done yet in the best possible light?"

But this isn't necessarily pure spin or even mendacious. Few if any are done, most are getting pretty damn close, and compliance is pretty asymptotic -- it approaches nearer and nearer to complete as time (and remediation) continues, but it never quite gets there, and perhaps never will.

Just how do you find a good, diplomatic way to say that you sincerely expect to keep your error rate down to a manageable level, without admitting you *will* have errors? You *know* you'll have errors. You know you can't avoid them, you can't find every last bug, you never could and never will. But you can never admit you expect mistakes, because some people (not just lawyers) will blow any such admission all out of proportion.

To demand perfection is to demand the impossible. To demand a guarantee of compliance is to demand doubletalk and weasel words, because compliance can never be guaranteed. Just what can any organization which considers themselves to be in excellent shape (the geeks say so) possibly say that can't be ripped apart by anyone whose goal is to rip? Reasonable just isn't good enough.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 24, 1999.

Dear MB, That is VERY interesting. Definately a Cover-Your-Ass move. After all, why change policies at all and why now since the economy is in a permanent state of expansion? [cough, wheeze, choke]

One thing that occured to this morning was this, Would it make all that much difference if all the banks were 100% Y2K compliant? Seriously! This applies on several levels.

1. If Japan, S.Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, etc. get another currency collapse going, they could pull the rest of the world down with it. Unlikely, I'll admit.

2. Enough people catch on to the fact that the entire banking system might not make it and pull their funds out in the form of cash AND KEEP IT IN CASH, then the banking system collapses. Very possible, not that many people will catch on, but that it takes so few people to collapse a fractional reserve fiat based system at this current point of leverage. Please note that if people pull out in cash and then the next day buy gold, beans, guns, gensets, fuel, etc. nothing happens whatsoever since the cash goes right back into the system (the Kristoferson, Fonda movie ROLLOVER blithly ignores this crucial point but it was a poor movie for plenty of other reasons anyway)

3. Think Long Term Capital Management was to only firm dealing in derivatives? HA! These idioticly 50:1 leveraged monstrosities are all over the globe. It could happen again and the White House Plunge Protection Team might not be able to stop it IF it is too big or in too many places. Remember the collapse in copper prices a few years back? Buying huge amounts of stuff with money you don't have is like balancing a 4x8 sheet of plywood on one edge. If somebody sneezes....

4. Okay the banks are compliant, are all the companies they have money loaned to complaint? Drawing cash out of the bank will quickly ruin a bank operated under the present rules (hint: it wasn't always like this folks!). Having major loan failures will do the exact same thing to your balance sheet, just much slower.

Think of investing, oops depositing is the politically correct term, in a bank as hang gliding. Don't go any higher than you mind falling.

People have choices. If Y2K interupts food suplies and I have 3 days worth of food, that interuption is a big problem to me. However, if I have 9 months of food, it's not as big a problem. Solving Y2K one family at a time. Think global, act locally, very locally.

-- Ken Seger (kenseger@earthlink.net), April 25, 1999.

Fleet Bank just took over Household Bank. I have a Household credit card and found out about this when I called their 800# for balance info. So they even if they were compliant with their "most mission critical systems" ( whatever that means) they now must deal with the systems of Household Bank which they just recently absorbed.

-- Joe O (ozarkjoe@yahoo.com), April 25, 1999.

Fleet also recently acquired Bank of Boston. Also, my Advanta credit card just turned into a Fleet card as well. Wonder what it means.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 25, 1999.

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