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Year 2000 Problem

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA") today releases the December issue of the "Year 2000 Bulletin" as part of its ongoing efforts to promote awareness and the sharing of sound practices in addressing the Year 2000 ("Y2K") problem within the banking industry in Hong Kong.

This issue of the Bulletin contains articles on the recent supervisory initiatives to address the Y2K problem, the external testing of interbank payment systems and the formulation of Y2K contingency plans. The results of the formal statements of compliance progress submitted by the chief executives of authorized institutions ("AIs") are also included in this issue of the Bulletin. These results indicated that as at end of September 1998:

  • The percentages of AIs expecting to achieve compliance by end-1998 for their critical and non-critical systems were 94% and 88% respectively;
  • The overall percentages of completion for critical systems and non-critical systems were 82% and 77% respectively; and
  • On average, AIs had completed 98% of the assessment phase, 90% of the modification phase and 71% of the testing phase with respect to their critical systems.

Commenting on the results, Mr Y K Choi, Acting Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA, said that, "the latest survey results suggest that the banking industry is making good progress in resolving the Y2K problem. However, there remain a small number of institutions which cannot achieve Y2K compliance by the end of 1998 as required by the HKMA. We have issued formal warning to these institutions to require them to make every effort to achieve Y2K compliance before end-March 1999. We will closely monitor the compliance progress of these institutions. If necessary, the HKMA will consider using its statutory powers in the Banking Ordinance to enforce compliance with the deadline."

This Bulletin also includes an article on the results of the external testing of the interbank payment systems conducted between August and November 1998. No Y2K exceptions were identified throughout the test. The Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited will conduct two additional external testing sessions with users in April and August 1999.

The Y2K problem will continue to be at the top of the HKMA's supervisory agenda in 1999. In the next few months, the HKMA will conduct additional examinations on selected institutions to ensure that they take necessary steps to rectify their Y2K programme deficiencies identified by the HKMA, and to develop a counterparty assessment framework and contingency plan. If necessary, we may require institutions to be subject to further independent assessment to ascertain their compliance status.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

31 December 1998

Last revision date: 1 August 2011
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