Market Partners: Y2K Poll Results : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

It appears that the web population is going for the cash !!


Market Partners: Y2K Poll Results Wednesday, 30-Jun-1999 15:49:48 writes: 13, 1999

Executive Summary Market Partners, Inc. compiled a voluntary public opinion survey about consumer concerns regarding Year 2000 preparedness of the financial services industry. The questions asked about:

The respondents concerns regarding Year 2000 impact on financial services, local, national and international governments, various non-financial service business sectors, the military and utilities, The types and influences of information provided by financial institutions on their Year 2000 readiness to respondents, The respondents consideration regarding withdrawing extra cash before the Year 2000, and Whether the Y2K problem will change the respondents investment strategies. The survey was conducted over the Internet February 25-April10, 1999. All respondents voluntarily chose to answer the short questionnaire after clicking a banner at the various web sites operated by or by directly answering survey questions at

A total of 3,300 people responded to the survey. This summary reports the findings of the approximate 2,700 U.S. respondents. The percentage figures used throughout were rounded to the nearest whole number for ease of presentation.

This survey reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The results cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of Internet users in general, nor the public as a whole.

Key Findings Almost half of all respondents (49%) reported concern about the ability of their primary financial institution to properly prepare for the Year 2000 problem. Respondents expressing this concern were more concerned about "Financial services infrastructure (exchanges, transactions, ATM network)" than the "Internal preparedness" of their primary financial institution. Financial services in general enjoyed a lower "Very Concerned" response than national and international governments, healthcare, the military and utilities.

Most respondents reported that they were concerned ("Very Concerned" or "Somewhat Concerned") about the impact of Y2K on the areas of government and non-financial business sectors addressed in the survey (a common range between 69% and 78% for each sector listed).

Fewer respondents (42%) reported any concern about the impact of Y2K on their job than any other area of concern surveyed.

Almost half of all respondents (49%) reported that their primary financial institution "Had not provided information on its Year 2000 readiness". An additional 14% reported that they were "Not sure" they had been provided any information by their institution.

The respondents consideration for withdrawing extra cash before Year 2000 was generally not influenced by information on the status of the Year 2000 readiness provided by their primary financial institution. More than half of all respondents (56%) reported they would withdraw extra cash before the Year 2000. 61% of respondents reporting a "High" level of Y2K understanding planned to withdraw extra cash while only 36% respondents reporting "Little or No" understanding of Y2K planned to withdraw extra cash. The progression of a respondents level of understanding from "Little or No" to a "High" level indicated a trend towards more decisiveness about withdrawing extra cash. Approximately 42% of those indicating a "High" level of understanding of Y2K are withdrawing cash more aggressively than "up to a few hundred dollars" extra ("more than a few hundred" (18%) "more than a few thousand" (11%)[and "a significant portion of my current assets, which is more than a few thousand dollars" (13%)) before the Year 2000.

A little over half of all respondents (52%) indicated they "Will" or "May be" changing their investment strategies because of the Y2K problem Additional Findings Information on Y2K Readiness Provided by Financial Institutions 77% of those who received information from their financial institution mentioned that it was through "Statement inserts or formal letters". 11% of respondents indicated they had attended public forums sponsored by their financial institution.

Respondents satisfaction was not significantly dependent on the type of information provided by their financial institution. 82% of those receiving "Statement insert or a formal letter" indicated they were "Very Satisfied" or "Somewhat Satisfied", while 90% of those who attended "Public forums" said they were "Very Satisfied" or "Somewhat Satisfied" with the information provided.

Variables Affecting Cash Withdrawal Plans

Region There was little variation in cash withdrawal plans between geographical regions of the United States. Cash withdrawal plans were somewhat higher in the West (63%) and somewhat lower in the Northeast (50%). However, Northeast respondents were also less decisive about actual plans (28% have not yet decided the course of action they will pursue -- 18% of respondents from the West were still undecided).

Income The higher is a respondents income, the more likely he/she is to aggressively withdraw funds in excess of a few hundred dollars (more than a few hundred or thousand dollars or significant portion of assets). Of those with yearly incomes over $100,000, 33% plan to withdraw "More than a few thousand dollars" (and greater) where only 17% of those with yearly incomes under $50,000 are planning to withdraw "More than a few thousand dollars" (and greater).

Age Those younger than 20 and older than 65 were more likely to not have made a decision yet about withdrawing extra cash. These youngest and oldest respondents were also less likely to withdraw "more than a few hundred dollars" (or greater) of extra cash once they made their decisions.

Gender There is a gender difference in deciding whether to withdraw cash prior to the Year 2000, 31% of women vs. 20% of men indicated they have not yet made a decision whether or not to withdraw extra cash prior to January 1, 2000.

Change in Investment Strategies Only 13% of those who qualified their "Will" or "May be" responses regarding their decision to change investment strategies were doing so to "Find opportunity related to the Year 2000 problem".

Commentary The banking industrys communications detailing preparedness for the Year 2000 did not generally register with survey respondents. Bank efforts to date to educate the public about industry preparedness have not successfully convinced respondents to limit cash withdrawals.

Respondents are generally concerned about the impact of Y2K on all industry sectors. Banking has a perceived higher state of preparedness than other industry sectors. Yet, respondents are still planning to take steps to withdraw cash. They are concerned more about the general disruption effects of Y2K and will take what they deem prudent actions to prepare for the new millennium. Without an alternative contingency plan that meets the need of the consumers, excess cash withdrawals are very likely.

Three quarters of the respondents were uniformly concerned about Y2K disruptions without industry sector differentiation. However, many indicated they were "not concerned" about Y2K impact on their jobs. As the century date change approaches, the Y2K impact may become more personalized --- which may lead to increased fears of the unknown.

The higher their level of understanding about the Y2K problem, the more likely were the respondents to plan to withdraw cash in excess of "a few hundred dollars". Less informed respondents were more likely to be undecided - 44% indicating "Little or no" understanding of Y2K have not made a decision about their cash withdrawal plans, while only 15% of those reporting a "High" level of understanding have not yet made a decision to withdraw extra cash.

Profile of Respondents 21% of respondents indicated they earn more than $75K a year. 38% of respondents consider their understanding of computer technology to be "technical". A notable number of respondents were 50 years or older (17%) or age 20 or younger (18%). Most respondents (67%) were men. A majority of respondents (84%) said they have high or medium understanding of the Year 2000 problem. Distribution of U.S. respondents was fairly even between five geographic regions: the Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and West.

-- Fat_C (, June 30, 1999


These numbers are hardly reassuring with a little more than 184 days remaining until the deadline. I recall my Mother saying sometimes that life was sometimes unfair. To this my older brother would say;

"Well, how come life is never unfair in my favor?"

-- (, June 30, 1999.

Snort! This is like surveying attitudes about gun control at the Gun Owners of America website. You'll notice they didn't even try to estimate its accuracy. I wonder why not?

-- Flint (, June 30, 1999.


Kind of like the accuracy of Y2k compliance disclosures from banks? It's hard to swallow when they don't want to stand behind their numbers with any great zeal.

-- (, June 30, 1999.

The public relations people have their work cut out for them:

2. Almost half of all respondents (49%) reported that their primary financial institution "Had not provided information on its Year 2000 readiness". An additional 14% reported that they were "Not sure" they had been provided any information by their institution.

3. The respondents consideration for withdrawing extra cash before Year 2000 was generally not influenced by information on the status of the Year 2000 readiness provided by their primary financial institution. More than half of all respondents (56%) reported they would withdraw extra cash before the Year 2000.

If I read that correctly, 63% of respondents (49% + 14%) weren't getting The Word from their primary financial institution, and they generally weren't relying on that source of information anyway. 56% of respondents planned to withdraw extra cash.

The banks' communications plans are NOT working. Inserts in statements are just so much junk mail, and I've attended a community meeting where someone in public relations from a bank spent 20 minutes saying nothing. They will have to step up the "contacts" or those withdrawal numbers will do nothing but grow.

It comes down to trust, and it certainly seems that the majority of respondents no longer trust their bank.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), June 30, 1999.

By the bye, "" is hardly the home of "gloom'n'doom, inc." Its Exec VP, Joseph P. McIsaac, often exchanges pleasantries with the folks over in c.s.y2k. Here's his "geek" bio from one such exchange. By c.s.y2k standards, he's apparently a "polly", and has been accused of being nothing but a "shill" for the banks. Not yer basic "doomster", methinks.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), June 30, 1999.

Well, I for one went from "somewhat concerned" to "very concerned" about my financial institution's status today. Asked the clerk how things were shaping up in the Y2K compliancy arena. She took a step back, squared her shoulders and stated: "We are planning to have everything fixed by rollover". I gave her the evil eye and asked her what that was supposed to mean. She said repeated what she said before and added that "that's all I can say". I told her that I was concerned since I was kinda depending on them to receive my electronic transfers so that I could continue to pay bills. She then told me that if I had additional concerns that I could make an appointment to see a customer service rep.

I had to leave before the last nerve she was standing on gave way. I will make an appointment with whomever next week - after I take deep breathing exercises and a couple of valium.

oh - I did ask the clerk if they were planning on sending out a flyer with my statement anytime soon - she said that they hadn't considered it - but maybe I should bring it up to the customer service rep. In all fairness, I have been banking at this place for more than 10 years and have never had a problem in dealing with them.

oh lawd - please let her just be the dumbest, newest trainee clerk on the roster. Will let you know how this washes out.

-- justme (, June 30, 1999.

justme -

Did she really say "rollover"? I ask because that's not a term I've heard anywhere outside Y2K project teams and discussion groups. Same with "lockdown", which refers to the widespread "freeze" to all system configs which should start, oh, any minute now.

Did the teller use this "term of art", or something more common like "the end of the year"?

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), June 30, 1999.

and the "vicious" Flint lashes out yet again... :)

Hey Flint - OK if I start referring to you as Flint Vicious?


-- a (a@a.a), June 30, 1999.

Mac - she really did use the word rollover. It knocked me for a loop - because I wasn't expecting that kind of a response from her. yep - definitly "rollover"

-- justme (, June 30, 1999.

The fact remains that this survey is self-selected and hilariously nonrandom. It doesn't just bend, it completely shatters every possible rule for getting meaningful results. And you could just as easily set something up like this, that would find 3300 people who had no worries whatsoever. It would be just as meaningless, and follow the exact same procedures, but it wouldn't be taken seriously by anyone here. NOT because of the methodology, sadly, ONLY because of the results.

-- Flint (, June 30, 1999.

Maybe Flint, but the banks are being gracious enough to give us zero information. I got a meaningless blurb from NationsBank.

I do not like to gamble. Betting that my money will survive in the banks- those institutions that are presently non-compliant- is a play for losers.

Surveys do not matter to me any longer. The time is past for that. I have made my decision. If I am wrong I will deposit the money again sometime next year.

-- Mike Lang (, June 30, 1999.

Correction: Exec VP's name is "Joseph E. McIsaac". Not sure how I fat-fingered that middle initial...

The poll is no more or less valid than any of the other on-line polls (, f'rinstance), some of which have been much ballyhooed in the press. Such polls are quite self-selecting and thus suspect. I did find it odd that an online poll by an org like Market Partners would show such negative results, since a significant percentage of the audience would be likely to have a stronger bias toward the host's position.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), July 01, 1999.

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