Wall Street passes Y2K beta test

The year 2000 beta test conducted last month with 28 Wall Street firms went 'extremely well,' the Securities Industry Association (SIA) announced this week at a press conference. Nonethless, officials with the SIA's Year 2000 Committee say there is no room for complacency and that businesses in the financial industry must remain diligent to prepare and test for possible Y2K issues.

The year 2000 beta test conducted last month with 28 Wall Street firms went "extremely well," the Securities Industry Association (SIA) announced this week at a press conference.

Despite how smoothly the beta went, officials with the SIA's Year 2000 Committee said that there is no room for complacency and that businesses in the financial industry must remain diligent to prepare and test for possible Y2K issues.

Most older software programs were written with two-digit date fields that are likely to read the "00" in 2000 as "1900" and subsequently fail to make correct calculations. The financial industry has been viewed by many observers as being a leader in preparing for potential Y2K problems, including last month's beta test.

The industry overall should have the bulk of its testing done by March of next year in order to ensure that preparations are in place by the time 2000 arrives, SIA officials said. SIA is working with various regulatory agencies to deal with additional testing.

Firms involved in the beta test did not experience any Y2K-related compliance problems, the SIA said. There were some minor glitches related to setting up systems for the testing, but those were not specifically related to Y2K compliance.

The beta test included trades and transactions. Additional testing will be conducted during future weekends so that trading will not be disrupted if problems arise. The intent of future tests at the 28 firms involved thus far will be to make certain that systems continue to function correctly.

SIA officials said that because those firms already have put Y2K compliant systems into place, they are, in effect, already involved in testing high-volume transactions in the course of a normal work day.

The SIA had reported last month that preliminary results from the beta test were satisfactory, but today's press conference was called to officially announce how the test went and what work is to follow.

The SIA, in New York, can be reached at or at http://www.sia.com/, where additional information about Y2K preparation and testing in the financial industry also is available.

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