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Fed's Y2K Messages Designed to Reassure Public

Thursday, July 1, 1999

To allay the public's fears and doubts about the banking system's Y2K readiness, the Federal Reserve has prepared four core messages that it intends to use in all of
its communications. The messages are listed below and are each followed by supporting points. The Fed encourages financial institutions to pass along these same messages to their customers whenever possible.

  1. No one can say there won't be glitches, but we are confident that our nation's financial system will be prepared for the century rollover.
    • Many experts in the United States rate the financial industry as superbly prepared for the Year 2000. The Fed expects the usual payment options, such as ATMs, credit cards, checks, debit cards, etc., to work through the Y2K rollover.
    • The strength of the U.S. banking system has been tested many times—from regional disruptions due to power outages to national crises that affected the entire financial system—and has weathered these disruptions successfully.
  2. The Federal Reserve is committed to doing all it can to safeguard the operations of the U.S. financial system.
    • The Federal Reserve has acted to ensure that sufficient cash will be available at financial institutions throughout 1999 and 2000.
    • The Fed is developing detailed plans to handle any glitches that may occur in the early days of 2000. The Fed expects that any Y2K disruptions will be limited.
  3. As a country, we all share the responsibility for meeting the Y2K challenge. The Federal Reserve and the banking system are doing their parts, and we believe the public will do its part as well.
    • Everyone in the country has an important role to play.
    • Government and businesses are working hard to fix and test computers and to find ways to continue providing service even if some problems occur.
    • Any Y2K financial disruption in the United States will likely be temporary and manageable.
  4. Public understanding of the banking industry's Year 2000 preparations will help maintain public confidence.
    • Each financial institution should take it upon itself to communicate accurate information to its customers about the readiness of the banking industry.
    • The Fed strongly encourages self-assessment and public disclosure as the best way for individual financial institutions to keep bank supervisors and the public informed about Y2K readiness.