Statement drawing attention to the Year 2000 issue

18 November 1997

Press release

BASLE COMMITTEE ON BANKING SUPERVISION
BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS, CH-4002 BASLE
PRESS STATEMENT

18th November 1997

The Basle Committee on Banking Supervision (Basle Committee), the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), jointly issue this statement, drawing attention to the Year 2000 issue.

Supervisors of banks, securities firms and insurance companies wish to stress the importance of this issue which carries tremendous risks of disruption in the operations of financial institutions and in financial markets. The aim is to encourage financial institutions worldwide to commit urgently the resources necessary to develop action plans to become millennium-compliant in a timely fashion. These plans should address not only the workability of the institutions' own internal systems but should also test those systems externally with other financial institutions, clients and counterparties. Supervisors of financial institutions worldwide have a role to play in helping ensure that supervised institutions meet the Year 2000 challenge.

Many supervisory and regulatory authorities, sectoral organisations of supervisors, and a variety of commercial firms and organisations have taken initiatives to alert financial institutions to the importance of promptly and thoroughly addressing the Year 2000 problem, so as to ensure the continued proper functioning of computer applications. Much of this information is available on the Internet. In particular, the Basle Committee released a paper, "the Year 2000 - A Challenge for Financial Institutions and Bank Supervisors" (http://www.bis.org), in September 1997 and IOSCO issued a Statement by the IOSCO Technical Committee on Year 2000 in June 1997 and highlighted the need for its members to address Year 2000 issues in the Communique issued after IOSCO's XXIInd Annual Conference held in November 1997 (http://www.iosco.org). The IAIS intends to issue a statement on the Year 2000 challenge in the near future which focuses on the particular concerns of the insurance industry.