Another banking story : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Today my husband went to a bank to cash two checks. He is well known there and never had to show ID before, but now that bank has been bought by another one and the rules have changed. I'll spare you the details of the snafus he encountered, but after giving his SS# and account number and showing his drivers license, the system wouldn't cash his checks and there ended up being three employees working on his checks to see why. (Eventually the system coughed up his money, with no explanation as to why it had balked.) While the employees were trying to figure out the problem, my husband said, "If you people are having this much trouble now, you'll really be in a mess when Y2K gets here." Immediately, in unison, they all three indignantly started telling him they were ready, all compliant, no problems. Sounds to me like they had been carefully coached.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (, June 21, 1999


>Sounds to me like they had been carefully coached.

... or, alternatively, like they've been through the Y2k testing wringer so thoroughly that they're genuinely sure the bank _is_ Y2k-compliant, and they're sick of customers making smart remarks about Y2k.

You know, Pearlie, not every computer problem is related to Y2k.

I worked for a financial services software company (our customers were banks and networks of banks) for eleven years, and in that time fixed about a thousand problems (that is, formally documented problems that were discovered past the development testing stage). Exactly one of those was Y2k-related.

During that time I also participated in Y2k remediation projects. These prevented Y2k-related problems from occurring in the future by removing the root causes. Believe it or not, Y2k computer problems, while sometimes subtle, are not so magically hard-to-find as to make it unreasonable for people to be confident that a properly designed comprehensive testing regime can reliably certify Y2k compliance.

Do you have any evidence to support your idea that the bank employees "had been carefully coached"?

-- No Spam Please (, June 21, 1999.

they are A...coached or B. haven't got a clue(other than what their bank has told them) or C. afraid for losing their jobs..A. and C. usually go hand in hand and B. well you GIs know what they are...

-- peter tork (im, June 21, 1999.

This sounds like Washington Mutual, who bye the way bought out Great Western Bank and Home Savings. A family member of mine is having similar problems. She tried to make a deposit into her account but could not because the bank computer said she had an overdraft. No overdraft, got it fixed in a few days. LOL Its only June. And people think the banks will be OK!

-- thinkIcan (, June 21, 1999.

I received my statement from NationsBank today. In large type on the outside of the envelope was the phrase "Y2K UPDATE INSIDE". This is what it said,

We are on target to be Y2K READY-in accordance with federal guidelines-by 6/30/99 and are committed to ongoing quality reviews throughout the year.

Notice 99 not 1999. I wonder when they will change their mindset. That was it. They have 10 days to become ready. They are not ready now.

In small print, a one sentance update saying they are not compliant.

Banks are doing nothing to alleviate the concern of their depositors.

No Spam, do you have any evidence that the money center banks are compliant? All of them. It is too late for silly little arguments. It is not up to us to prove the banks are compliant. It is up to them.

-- Mike Lang (, June 21, 1999.

I do NSP, they were, the Emporer wears no clothes!.

Deo Vindice, BR

-- brother rat (, June 21, 1999.

>>You know, Pearlie, not every computer problem is related to Y2k.<<

NoSpamPlease, read what I wrote. I didn't imply that the problem was related to Y2K. What my husband meant was that if they can't even make it smoothly through a change in ownership, they certainly wouldn't be able to function after Y2K. And no, you forum-ruining asshole, I don't have any proof that the employees were coached. It was an anecdotal story, not requiring evidence or fact checking.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (, June 21, 1999.


>do you have any evidence that the money center banks are compliant?

I know from my work that some of the software that some of them use is compliant.

If you're asking me for information about total compliance, I can't help you because I don't have that information.

>It is not up to us to prove the banks are compliant. It is up to them.

Before you ever heard of Y2k, did you ever ask any bank (or any other organization) to prove that its computer systems had no errors?

It's true that Y2k computer problems have potential for being more troublesome than some other categories of computer problems because of the semi-simultaneity of their triggering events and because our assumptions about calendars that led to Y2k flaws may be a little more pervasive than the pyschological sources of other categories of computer problems, but let's keep some perspective.

-- No Spam Please (, June 21, 1999.


My apologies for not expressing myself well in "not every computer problem is related to Y2k". I see that it's too easily misinterpreted, and regret that I didn't express what I intended.

>I didn't imply that the problem was related to Y2K.

... nor did I take it that way. But I see how my response can be read as implying that.

>What my husband meant was that if they can't even make it smoothly through a change in ownership, they certainly wouldn't be able to function after Y2K.

Okay. I disagree with that conclusion, but I'm not disputing that that is what he meant.

>you forum-ruining asshole,


That seems a bit strong to be based on a single posting.

How am I ruining this forum?

-- No Spam Please (, June 21, 1999.

What I've heard on the grapevine is that mergers of large corporations present severe problems to the system geeks who have to resolve incompatibiities between accounting, inventory, and management systems designed quite differently from each other. Y2K has nothing to do with this, it's just a fact of life.

The effect of Y2K on this problem is to make it more difficult, more time-consuming, more expensive.

-- Tom Carey (, June 21, 1999.

>>What I've heard on the grapevine is that mergers of large corporations present severe problems...<<

I can speak from first-hand experience. I'm one of those system geeks. I worked for a number of years for a company "merged" from two multinational, $5B "big iron" computer HW/SW companies. Five years after the merger, the "company" was outsourcing it's own IT! Management systems, payroll, inventory, and some accounting. The hardware, software, comm and culture incompatibilities were near total and *twelve* years later, when I left, these issues had not become integrated.

I would be the first to admit that this is not an apples to apples comparison, but I do wonder how many banking mergers have occurred in the last twelve *months,* and where they stand with their integration efforts. As you've said, Tom, this has nothing to do with Y2K.

-- Elbow Grease (, June 22, 1999.

Just a note, today at the drive-thru I saw a sign in the teller window that said " 7 month CD's ... 10,000 mininum ..." Has anyone else noticed something like this ?

peace, Dan

-- Dan G (, June 22, 1999.

Are computer problems in general increasing lately, or is it just my imagination? -- or some combination of both, maybe.

I'm not expert of "chaos theory" but even I get that the more complex a system is, the more errors, including serious ones, are likely to occur.

At last my new woodstove in completely y2k compliant...

-- time to (buy@more.wood), June 22, 1999.

Mike Lang,

It is interesting that you only referred to a two line message on your statement that was added as an info filler, and not as a date field requiring compliance. While the computers will need to see the year as four digits, we, the human users, do not. We can still write it in two digits and not be confused. Well, most of us, anyway.

NationsBank included a pamphlet in my statement this month and here is the first paragraph:

Since 1995, NationsBank has been working hard to make sure our systems are year 2000 ready. We have conducted extensive analyses and installed critical upgrades to our internal systems. We have made sure our most important vendors, suppliers and clearing houses also have their systems Y2K ready. And, we have been performing rigorous tests and are on schedule to meet federal year 2000 guidelines by June 30, 1999.

They also list a website on the back,

They also have a number you can call, 1.888.960.1111. 7 AM to 10 PM eastern time. Seven days a week.

in one of the three top questions they are asked most often, they state that they will continue, "as an added security measure, to focus on continued testing, working with vendors and suppliers and develop contingency plans throughout 1999."

-- J (, June 22, 1999.

Ok, you want to know what the BANKS are being told to do by the FEDS? Check this out:
Mr. K

-- Mr. Kennedy (, June 22, 1999.


-- Mr.K (, June 22, 1999.


-- don't (, June 22, 1999.

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