The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday said its 12 reserve banks will remain open on Dec. 31, 1999.

"A banking holiday is not warranted," the Fed said. "Bank resources would be better spent preparing for the year-2000 changeover rather than addressing the operating, financial, legal, and other consequences that would flow from a date-change holiday."

A holiday would have allowed all 1999 transactions to be cleared before the reprogrammed computer systems were used.

Though the securities industry has led the charge for a holiday, the American Bankers Association opposes the move. "It could lead people to think there is a problem when we are very optimistic that there won't be," said ABA deputy executive vice president Edward L. Yingling. - Jaret Seiberg

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