Federal Reserve Board Governor Edward W. Kelley Jr. urged a group of international regulators Monday to raise awareness of the feared turn-of-the-century computer meltdown.

"We fear that on a worldwide comprehensive basis we are far behind where we should be, and the days are inexorably going by," Mr. Kelley told a gathering of the Professional Bankers' Association at World Bank headquarters here. "The problem is global and must be solved worldwide, or all will suffer."

Even if U.S. banks completely adjust their computer systems in time, he cautioned, they might still be infected by foreign institutions and businesses that have not tackled the so-called "millennium bug."

He asked the regulators to ensure that top government officials in each country recognize that the computer flaw threatens the health of their financial markets.

Further, these officials should promote collaboration with developing countries, many of which are "still behind the curve" in starting and funding year-2000 initiatives, Mr. Kelley said.

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