Millennium change in computer applications

14 January 1998

Press release

As announced earlier, the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS) has created a special purpose section on the BIS Internet Website containing information on the state of preparedness of payment and settlement systems around the world with respect to the Year 2000 issue. For this purpose a special reporting framework has been developed that operators of payment and settlement systems can use to indicate the state of internal testing as well as testing with external participants for the key components of their IT infrastructure. The framework itself and the replies which have been made available by system operators can be found at the BIS Website (http://www.bis.org).

The CPSS wishes to associate as wide a group of systems with this awareness-raising exercise as possible, both within the Group of Ten countries and outside, and covering retail systems, large-value transfer systems, securities settlement systems, clearing organisations for derivatives and cross-border netting and settlement systems. System operators are therefore encouraged to complete the framework and to return it to the Committee's Secretariat at the BIS for posting on the BIS Website.

Various other international bodies have drawn attention to the issues involved in addressing the Year 2000 compliance problem. The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) issued a statement in June 1997 urging its members and market participants to take appropriate action to address this critical matter. In September 1997 the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision (Basle Committee) issued a technical paper for banks which sets out a strategic approach for the development, testing and implementation of system solutions as well as defining the role that central banks and bank supervisors need to play in promoting awareness of the issue and enforcing action. The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) delivered a statement in November 1997 focusing on issues the Year 2000 poses for insurance companies.

On 8th April 1998 the Basle Committee, the CPSS, the IAIS and IOSCO will be organising a Round Table on the Year 2000 in order to provide a global platform for the sharing of relevant strategies and experiences across key industries by international bodies representing both the public and the private sector. Limited space will also be available for selected representatives from other institutions and from the press. Interested international industry associations and regulatory organisations from the financial sector and from the computer and telecommunication sectors are invited to contact the CPSS Secretariat at the BIS to indicate how they would be willing to contribute to the Round Table. In due course the BIS Website will also provide further information on this event, including an overview of the background material that will be available and a summary of the presentations and discussions.