Crisis pro contests banks' Y2K preparedness policy : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Found this while at a clients today...

it's transcribed from articles which appeard on the inside, front cover of the July 5, 1999 "PR Weekly" magazine...sometimes interesting articles don't always make the "mainstream" press.


Crisis pro contests banks' Y2K preparedness policy

By Matthew Boyle

Williamsburg, VA: Banking regulators are committing a PR blunder by refusing to make public their examinations of bank Y2k readiness, according to one crisis counselor.

Richard Torrenzano, chairman and CEO of NY-based The Torrenzano Group, took bank regulators to task in a speech at the Conference of State Bank Supervisors' annual meeting last month. He chided bank regulators for not alerting customers and shareholders to banks that are non Y2k compliant, and called for the FDIC to issue a "Seal of Approval" to banks rated "satisfactory" on their Y2k preparations.

"Only 3.2% of the more tha 10,000 insured banks were rated 'needs improvement' or 'unsatisfactory," said Torrenzano. "And that's great -- unless your money is in a bank that falls in that 3.2%." Torrenzano also cited a recent survey by Wirthlin Worldwide that found public skepticism on the Y2k readiness of banks to back up his point.

An FDIC spokesperson, however, said Torrenzano was making much ado about nothing. Spokesman David Barr said the reason the FDIC has not released the results of its Y2k examinations is because the information is part of large "Safety and Soundness" exams, the results of which are not available to the public.

Every year since its founding in 1935, the FDIC has gone of banks' books and given them a rating from one to five, with five being the worst. The results of the safety and soundness exams are available only to banks and bank regulators. If this information got out to consumers, it could "cause a run on banks," according to Barr.

As for the Y2k readiness of most banks, Barr said the industry is nearing 100% compliance. Since the original exams were done in March, the number of banks rated "less than satisfactory" has been cut in half -- from 337 to 172 - out of 10,400 FDIC insured institutions. "That's a 99% chance that your institution is satisfactory," noted Barr. "And even if you're in the minority, we're not anticipating widespread problems -- just a glitch or two."

Torrenzano challenged the regulators to take a leadership role in communicating the Y2k message, but Barr said the onus is upon the banks themselves. "We don't care how they notify their customers. We just want to see that they have a game plan in place."


BM creates Year 2000 crisis units

By Larry Dobrow

New York: Burson-Marsteller has established a network of 24 "communications command centers" as part of its Y2k readiness activities.

The centers, located in Europe, Asia, and North and South America, will be manned around-the-clock by crisis communications pros during the hours leading up to and following the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2000. At least 140 staff will be pooled into the unit, managing crises as they emerge.

"Y2k has the potential to be a major disruption for companies, even if not a single computer malfunctions," said worldwide CEO Chris Komisarjevsky. "That's because the Y2k bug is no longer just a problem of technology, but one of business management."


-- Michael Taylor (, August 25, 1999



-- R (, August 25, 1999.

Alan Greenspan said 99% is NOT GOOD ENOUGH! So what are these people talking about??

(Like I might believe *anything* the feds tell me, FDIC or not!)

"If this information gets out to consumers it might cause a run on banks" Exactly what does THAT mean???


-- mar (, August 25, 1999.

Of course, it could make a difference to folks, depending on just *who* these 172 banks are..........

I'd be less worried if they were all along the lines of "Fourth Federal Savings Bank of Bucksnort, Tennessee" than if I was to find out that they were such as National City, Chase Manhattan, and so on.

-- Jon Williamson (, August 25, 1999.

And lets remember what we are looking at here: The FDIC says that the vast majority of banks are making SATISFACTORY PROGRESS TOWARDS BEING READY BY JANUARY 1, 2000. That is hardly the same thing as saying, for instanced, that the vast majority -- or even majority, for that matter -- are actually FINISHED!

-- King of Spain (, August 25, 1999.

Thanks Micahel.

Maybe someone should revisit and research the Federal Reserve Bank(s) again.

Just a thought.



-- Diane J. Squire (, August 25, 1999.

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