Banks Plan New Year Closure- : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Now here is plan or is it? I wonder how many other banks will follow suit?

As part of the Bank of Thailand's preparations to test commercial bank's readiness for the millennium-bug (Y2K), Thai banks will close for a four-day period to detect any problems in their computers, with bank employees standing by in case anything goes wrong.

According to the central bank, Thai commercial banks will be closed for business from December 31, 1999, to January 3, 2000.

"The substitute Monday holiday will be handy for banks to test their Y2K readiness. The central bank expects most commercial banks to have their staff on stand-by at their offices but they won't be open for normal business," a central bank spokeswoman said.

Taking the Y2K problem seriously, the central bank will monitor and keep track of any computer malfunctions within the Thai banking system on January 3.

The central bank itself, along with some other Thai banks, has already tested its computer systems and reported they are well prepared for any problems arising from the use of dates from the year 2000.

Apart from the central bank, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) and Krung Thai Bank (KTB) also claim they are ready to handle the Y2K problem.

Vichit Amonviratskul, first executive vice president of SCB's Technology Group, revealed the bank has been aware of the Y2K problem from the beginning and has been preparing by allocating budgets to tackle the bug and by training officers to prevent any damage it may cause.

SCB recently co-operated with Chase Manhattan Bank to test its 'Swift' system in preparation for the Y2K problem. Under the 'Swift' test-run programme, the banks tested their clearing industry for payment systems between June 8 and 13.

The test results were satisfactory because they showed the Y2K bug would not create problems in their local or international businesses operations, SCB said in a press release.

KTB's statement also said the bank had been preparing for the Y2K bug in advance of the new millennium. Manit Chitwattanagorn, president of Krung Thai Computer Service, said the bank and the Petroleum Authority of Thailand have jointly tested their salary payment systems and the test results showed no sign of a problem.

KTB said in its press release that the bank had finished its contingency plan for the Y2K bug, adding that it had completed the first stage of its three-step test program under the plan. The bank expects to complete all its testing under the contingency plan in August.

Banks in Singapore, Southeast Asia's top financial centre, have taken similar action. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has declared December 31 a bank holiday as part of measures to cope with the Y2K bug.

MAS managing director Koh Yong Guan told the Association of Banks in Singapore that the holiday would help banks ensure they have complete and correct records of all customer accounts and their year-end positions at the start of the new millennium.

Customers will still be able to use electronic banking services like automated teller machines, phone banking and Internet banking in Singapore during the bank holiday, he said late on Monday.

"We are not alone in making this decision," Koh said. "More than 20 other countries have designated December 31 either as a bank or public holiday."

January 3, the first working day after the New Year, will not be a bank holiday.

"According to our assessment, our financial system will be ready to resume operations at the outset of the new millennium," he said.

Earlier this month, MAS said Singapore banks and financial institutions had passed the Global Payment Systems Test (GPST) under the New York Clearing House.

International certification groups have given Singapore and Hong Kong the highest marks possible for their Y2K readiness.

Hong Kong and Singapore are the only places so far to have been awarded a "green" rating from the Global 2000 Coordinating Group, a consortium of banks, securities firms and insurance companies from 65 countries.

Experts have warned, however, that some computer systems may break down or malfunction during and after the transition to 2000, which could wreak havoc on financial systems, transport and other technology-dependent activities.

In its continuing efforts to boost viewership, Web portal Lycos Inc. [NASDAQ:LCOS] said it has inked an e-commerce deal with Bank One Corp.'s [NYSE:ONE] new Internet-only bank,

The deal will give Lycos users access to their checking accounts and let them pay bills, apply for loans, make investments and conduct financial research via the Internet. Lycos estimated that the multi- year agreement could be worth up to $135 million. Further financial details of the pact were not disclosed.

The announcement comes less than a week after Bank One launched its full-service banking Web portal, (Newsbytes, June 24, 1999). Bank One, the fifth-largest US bank, said it aims to sign up a million new accounts during its first year of operation. As a "grand opening incentive," the bank is offering $100 each to the first 10,000 account holders.

The two companies said they plan to develop a co-branded Lycos/ site. They didn't say when the site will launch.

The deal with Lycos is clearly a boost for WingspanBank's infant campaign to attract new customers. Still, the bank already has a treasure trove of online services to tap into via Bank One's First USA credit card subsidiary. First USA has marketing agreements for credit cards and other financial services with America Online,, Cnet, CyberCash, EBay, Excite, GeoCities, Microsoft Network, Value America and Yahoo.

-- y2k dave (, July 03, 1999


I predict ALL banks will be closed, for longer than a 4 day period...

-- Andy (, July 03, 1999.

In fact, I believe that a bank in Israel was the first to adopt this strategy. I've been watching the rueters terminal at work and have seen about ten similar articles to the one above. Each was in a diff location. You'd have to be out of your mind to expose your bank to the "big one" when every other bank was hunkered down in the foxhole.

-- Jim Smith (, July 03, 1999.

With Good News like this, those bankers may be able to take a "holiday" by Thanksgiving (or Halloween?). They may be getting a good long break .... "real soon now".

-- Linda (, July 03, 1999.

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