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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)