Bug ‘less of an irritant’

With 15 months to go, the millennium bug may seem less of a problem. Advice from the speakers was generally the same as for the euro: ‘Be prepared.’

Claims that banks had made large provisions in their balance sheets for customer bankruptcies as a result of year 2000 failures were discounted by the major banks.

‘I see year 2000 compliance as part of the overall credit situation,’ says Midland’s Tony Haley. He would be concerned, he says, if a customer told him they were ignoring it.

‘Some of our customers are bewildered as to what they should be doing. My advice is to talk to your bank. It is not too late,’ said a Lloyds Bank spokeswoman.

Centreline’s Derek Price has this advice: Do not sign any forms to say that your software or systems are year 2000 compliant, he warns, since you cannot vouch for your software suppliers.

A more sensible approach, he says, is to be involved in Year 2000 discussions with informal groups of suppliers and customers, such as the ones being organised by British Aerospace.