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Fed Monitoring International Preparation for Century Date Change

Thursday, April 1, 1999

U.S. offices of foreign banks lag behind U.S. financial institutions in planning and testing for the Year 2000. These banks, however, have made good progress in recent months, according to Federal Reserve supervisory reviews. The Federal Reserve is working closely with international bank supervisors to better understand the level of Century Date Change readiness worldwide.

Although the Federal Reserve cannot be responsible for CDC preparations among foreign institutions, it is involved in a number of initiatives with the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion to develop accurate perspectives. The Fed's direct supervisory authority over foreign banks is limited to the offices of those banks operating in the United States, but the Fed will receive information on foreign bank Year 2000 readiness through its participation in several exchanges with international supervisory bodies and private sector forums.

The Fed has been involved with the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision to survey international CDC readiness. This committee has issued guidance for examiners to use in assessing bank readiness. In addition, Fed Governor Roger Ferguson chairs the Joint Year 2000 Council, which is working to promote awareness and information about the CDC issues.

The New York Fed is taking special steps to address CDC issues with the largest institutions in New York that comprise the infrastructure for the U.S. financial and global markets.