The American Bankers Association has created a video for bank commercial customers to ensure they are year-2000 compliant.
The video, produced with the help of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, explains what banks are doing to make sure they are ready and offers steps other businesses should take.
"This is a good way to help customers understand why their year-2000 situation matters to their bank," said ABA spokeswoman Virginia McGuire. "It explains why banks are asking so many questions."
The tape includes the perspective of two bankers, a bank customer, and Tom Donohue, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber of Commerce.
The ABA is selling the video, along with a 38-page year-2000 guide, for $49.95, with discounts available for bulk orders. The trade group suggests banks either show the 15-minute video at a meeting of customers or buy individual copies to distribute to the banks' biggest borrowers.
What about those customers that do not employ technology? The video suggests they could still be hurt if their own customers are not year-2000 compliant.
"We want our customers to understand that the problem affects them whether or not they use computers," said James A. Mastera, chief lending officer at Cornhusker Bank, Lincoln, Neb., and one of the bankers featured on the video. "They also need to check with their suppliers, and everyone else they work with."
Mr. Mastera said in an interview that his bank has two seminars in the works for commercial customers.
He plans to show the video, explain what the bank is doing to prepare, and then have a local accountant give his thoughts on what needs to be done before 2000.
The $150 million-asset bank is also preparing loan packages for customers that may need money to fix their year-2000 problems or buy new systems. Though no one has come asking for such a loan yet, "we recognize the potential is there," he said.
"We believe we should assume the worst, and know that after the magic hour there could be customers out there in need of a complete replacement," Mr. Mastera said.