FDIC Talking Points on "Y2K: The Movie"

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Talking Points on "Y2K: The Movie"
Scheduled to Air on NBC on Sunday, November 21, 1999

* We are confident that financial institution customers can separate fact from fiction. Any Y2K problems impacting the banking industry that are depicted in the movie are unrealistic. Their inclusion in the movie is purely for dramatic effect.

* Federally-insured financial institutions are prepared for Y2K. Based on our reviews, we are confident that financial institution customers will be able to conduct business as usual before and after January 1. Banks, thrifts and credit unions are already using Y2K-ready systems, including the systems used to process and transmit ATM transactions.

* Federally insured financial institutions are highly regulated. We are the only industry in which numerous on-site examinations for Year 2000 readiness have taken place at every insured institution. Both federal and state regulators have participated in this extraordinary effort.

* As of today, 99.9 percent of FDIC insured financial institutions are assigned a Year 2000 assessment rating of "Satisfactory," the highest rating possible. Only five out of more than 10,300 FDIC insured financial institutions are currently rated less than Satisfactory.

* ATM networks have tested their systems and concluded that they are ready for the Year 2000. But remember, bank lines and empty ATMs occur periodically for reasons that have nothing to do with Y2K. It is estimated that on any given day, one out of every fifty ATM transactions is not completed successfully. Don't automatically assume that similar problems in December can be attributed to Y2K.

* All payment systems will be working. They have been tested and re-tested. ATM networks, credit card companies and merchants have been upgrading their computer systems so your cards will work properly.

* There is no need for you to take extra money out of your account. Institutions will be ready to conduct business as usual. You should be able to withdraw cash or make payments with a variety of options -- including checks, credit cards, debit cards, ATMs and (during business hours) tellers. Your money is safe in a federally insured deposit account. Once you've taken your funds out of the bank you run the risk of being robbed or losing valuable interest payments.

* If you do decide to hold extra currency, ample cash will be available. Financial institutions are preparing for the possibility of heavier-than-usual cash demands. The Federal Reserve Board also has additional money that it can quickly distribute to banks that may need it. But remember, bank regulators and bankers have spent years preparing to overcome the Year 2000 problem so that there should be no need to withdraw extra money.

* As we move closer to the New Year, rumors and scare stories will likely increase. Also, advertising with a negative Y2K theme may likely proliferate as some people will seek to profit from Y2K by preying on people's fears and uncertainties. It will be important to determine their accuracy. So, to make smart, well-informed decisions, you should learn all you can about Y2K. Ask questions of your banker.

-- Nabi (nabi7@yahoo.com), November 18, 1999


Attachment B

The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) sent the following letter to NBC.

November 1, 1999

Robert Wright
President and CEO
National Broadcasting Corp.
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

Dear Mr. Wright:

The Y2K-ready banking industry is nervous. NBC's plans to air "Y2K: The Movie" on Nov. 21, 1999, has thousands and thousands of bankers around the country collectively gritting their teeth at the potential impact this movie may have on our industry's thorough and rigorous preparations to prepare for the Year 2000 date changeover. The banking industry has spent several years and billions and billions of dollars preparing its systems for Year 2000. We've spent countless hours telling our customers not to heed all the negative predictions and doomsday scenarios surrounding Y2K because their money will be safe in the nation's FDIC-insured banks.

Yet we are concerned that in one fell swoop, your movie will undo all our hard work by potentially - and erroneously - instilling fear in consumers' minds that Y2K will cause our industry to collapse, that we'll face bank runs akin to what we experienced in 1929, that ATMs all over the country will fail, and that banks really aren't the safest place for consumers' money.

As of Sept. 30, 1999, federal bank regulators had deemed 99.9 percent of FDIC-insured banks ready for Y2K and assigned them "satisfactory" exam ratings, the highest rating possible. A scant one-tenth of one percent required substantial improvement (only 12 out of 10,379 banks), and plans are to bring these banks into full Y2K compliance within the next few days. What's more, all banks have contingency plans providing for alternative methods of doing business in the unlikely event that glitches do arise.

The banking industry now considers Y2K a behavioral problem, not a technical problem. As Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan noted in September, "The response of businesses and households to unwarranted fears of serious disruptions does give me pause." We're worried about the thousands of Americans who will see this movie and decide to withdraw large amounts of cash from their bank accounts because they are scared about the safety of their deposits. And these are the people who are putting themselves at risk for assaults and robberies.

I realize that NBC can defend itself and say other movies such as Speed or the Airport series did not have a detrimental effect on the transportation industry. But we're not talking about a single industry. Y2K affects absolutely every aspect of our daily lives. This is not a minor issue. As a highly respected national news outlet, please take a moment and consider the messages this movie will send. Y2K is not an issue that the banking industry - or any industry - has taken lightly. We strongly urge you to pull this movie. At the very least, we urge you to provide disclaimers assuring your viewers that the movie is not a prediction of anticipated actual events.


Robert Barsness
President, ICBA
President and CEO, Prior Lake State Bank

-- Nabi (nabi7@yahoo.com), November 18, 1999.

Fear is contagious. Can you smell it?

-- Mike Lang (webflier@erols.com), November 18, 1999.

they are really squirming

-- bankers (having@transparent.fit), November 18, 1999.

Thanks for the info, Nabi! :-) Yesterday, I heard a commercial on the radio for Sterling Bank here in Houston. They were trying to calm fears about Y2K. One of their suggestions was for people to purchase traveler's checks instead of pulling out cash. It was interesting!

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), November 18, 1999.

Oh, yes, you can smell it. And if you listen closely, you can hear the little squeaking sound of their overstuffed desk chairs being sucked into their overstuffed fat butts. Monday could be a very interesting day.

Or, to be honest, it probably won't. Time will tell.

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), November 18, 1999.

Personally, I don't think the movie will make a bit of difference. If you haven't gotten it by now, you're not going to get it.

-- DuffyO (duffyo@mailcity.com), November 18, 1999.

For the gutsy: Buy puts tommorrow on the moneycenter banks.

John 9.5

-- John 9.5 Galt (jgaltfla@hotmail.com), November 18, 1999.

The banking industry now considers Y2K a behavioral problem, not a technical problem. Guess that means the banks will staff their emergency command centers with psychologists instead of programmers...LOL! And these are the people who are putting themselves at risk for assaults and robberies. See? The banks aren't scared for themselves at all, they are only worried about our safety. Knowing what unconditional love our banks have for us should really help with our behavioral problems. I wish they would have Clinton give us the ABA sermon in a televised fireside chat. I just know I would feel much better.

-- (RUOK@yesiam.com), November 19, 1999.

See also...

California Banks Are Prepared For Y2K -- Chairman of the FDIC Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Announced In San Francsico (S.F. Gate)

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id= 001nv4

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 19, 1999.

I have no doubt that the banking system has done everything possible to make sure our money is safe. But the thing that tells my guts not to trust the banks is the continual chant re the FIDC. As soon as I hear that I go into my snatch and run mode at the bank. There is no way in hell, even with all the extra printed cash, that the banks can give everyone their money if they go down. They can play games all day with the electronic transfers of non cash. But when you ask for real money or cash, thats when they get that twitch at the corner of the mouth. It used to be easy to get cash at the bank, a year ago, as even the branch managers didn't have a clue. But you can smell the fear now when you step through the door. And its really getting to be a pain in the butt to try and cash chubby hubby's pay check rather than deposit it. And the ironic thing is that this family has ALWAYS delt in cash. When you live a 100 miles from the bank, as we have, you don't go around without it. And what do I do when they flat out say, "you have to deposit it"? I will... and then I will sweat alot. If I had known how hard it was going to be to get money, I would have been cashing all the checks earlier on, and would have had all my prep lists ready for Nov and taken the truck and gone day after day with check book and bought our preps. But I did it the other way around and now they have us where the hair is short.

Taz...who has to come out of her bunker and try and cash another check this morning.

-- Taz (Tassie123@aol.com), November 19, 1999.

There is a LARGE bank hq'd here in the Cleveburgh that has come to a friend of mine on contract to them in IT until 12,26,99 and told him he WOULD be THERE on 12/31/99-1/1/00. He suggested that as his contract expired the monday prior that they had very high hopes, he was not obligated etc. The bank went to his employer, hoping to pressure him and the employer very politely offered a little tin hammer with which the Bank could pound sand. The employer indicated that they had no available employees for the rollover.


same guy left a particular international oil company 3 months ago and indicated they were only about 75% done then. (said company used to be hq'd here, and is now hq'd across the pond. Was one of JDRock's flagships)

connecting the dots and the drops.


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), November 19, 1999.

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