Y2K uncertainties about money eased as ATMs
continued to work and some banks opened for business today.
"We're not afraid of Y2K," read T-shirts worn by tellers at
City National Bank in Charleston, W.Va., which kept 10 drive-thru
windows open all night New Year's Eve.
"At this point everything is 100 percent," said Jeff Legge,
the bank's information systems director as customers were served
shortly after midnight.
Although most big national banks will be closed today, City
National, scheduled to stay open until noon, is among several small
regional banks planning to unlock their doors, despite the holiday.
"This was just a matter of trying to make our customers feel
more comfortable," said Legge.
Kurt Helwig, executive director of the Electronic Funds Transfer
Association, which represents the nation's major ATM networks, said
cash machines also were functioning normally after the midnight
rollover. He tried one in the Virginia suburbs outside Washington
"My little receipt from the ATM says 12:05 on Jan. 1, 2000. I
may have to frame it," said Helwig, expressing relief that many in
the financial services industry shared.
Donna Tanoue, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.,
the agency that insures deposits at the nation's 10,300 banks and
savings and loans, made her withdrawal more publicly, taking $20
out of an ATM machine one block from the White House early Saturday
morning for the benefit of a bank of television cameras.
"In this country, we anticipated business as usual for banks
and their customers and I am here to demonstrate that," she said.
She said that the FDIC and other federal banking agencies had
received no reports through the night of major problems in the
Friday night at the Federal Reserve, Chairman Alan Greenspan
dropped by the Y2K command center after dinner at the White House
for a briefing and to wish staff a happy new year. But with all
quiet, he left well before midnight.
Fed spokesman Dave Skidmore said the nation's central bank still
has a lot of follow-up work to do but added: "Given the experience
of the day, we look forward to good results."
ATM networks and banks reported brisk business Friday but no
more than on a normal long holiday weekend that coincided with a
"We've had a good bit of traffic at both our ATMs and our
branches, ... but we were certainly not unprepared or
overwhelmed," said Lynn Drury, spokeswoman for Charlotte,
N.C.-based Bank of America, the nation's second largest bank with
4,800 branches nationwide.
The Fed said it has delivered $80 billion in cash to banks since
Oct. 1, after recommending that they stock up in case of increased
consumer demand. That compares with $23 billion requested by banks
in the fourth quarter of 1998.
Fed officials said they will not know until later how much of
the padding was needed.
U.S. financial institutions with systems overseas, including
credit card companies such as American Express and MasterCard, were
reporting uninterrupted operations as the century date change
rolled across the world.
"It bodes well for our country," said American Bankers
Association spokesman John Hall. "Of course, we'll all be looking
to the first business day as well."
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has said all the nation's
banks, thrifts and credit unions passed Y2K inspections. Financial
institutions have spent an estimated $9 billion getting ready for
the Year 2000 date change.
Nevertheless, the Fed is requiring banks to check in regularly
into next week, to report computer problems or unusual customer