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  • [Asian Banks Face Y2K]Australian Banks to Spend A$1B on Y2K Bug
  • October 22, 1998 (SYDNEY, Australia) -- Banks in Australia are well aware of the potential problems associated with the Year 2000 date change, and have allocated close to A$1 billion to tackle the problem.
    In its report on the Year 2000 preparations in he Australian banking and financial system, the Reserve Bank of Australia said that the banks have assigned more than 2,500 technical and non-technical staff to make themselves y2K ready.

    In addition, a survey by accounting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu found that Australia's top 150 listed companies are expected to spend at least A$4 billion (US$2.5 billion) to overcome the Year 2000 problem.

    According to Ross Robins, associate director of the Australian Bankers Association, Australian financial institutions are well-prepared for business in the new millennium.

    In its role as bank supervisor, the Reserve Bank of Australia surveyed all banks in Australia in May 1997 and again in March 1998 to ensure they were addressing the full extent of Y2K problems. The Reserve Bank discussed the Y2K problem with senior management of each bank and asked external auditors to look at banks' preparations as part of a review of banks' business continuity and resumption plans.

    The March 1998 survey was the beginning of a process of regular reporting by banks on their Y2K preparations.

    One of Australia's oldest and largest financial institutions is the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

    Ken Pritchard, millennium project director for that bank, said, "The Commonwealth Bank remains on target to have all key applications Year 2000 ready by the end of 1998."

    "The Commonwealth's three phase program, begun in 1996, has involved stringent assessment and testing of all computer and embedded systems. Most in-house applications were ready at the end of June 1998," he added.

    Pritchard said the Bank's Y2K budget of A$115 million over three years also included a thorough review of systems and services provided by external vendors and service suppliers.

    "This external review identified necessary upgrades and replacements, which are expected to be in place by the end of 1998. Critical building management systems are scheduled to be ready by the end of 1998 and the remainder by June next year," he said.

    Pritchard said the bank is continuing to inform business clients of its program to raise their awareness of the need to address the Y2K issue to ensure their own systems are also ready.

    (Neil Munro, AsiaBizTech Correspondent)


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    Updated: Wed Oct 21 18:18:28 1998 PDT