Federal banking regulators have compiled a list of 250 service providers and software vendors that they have examined and graded for year-2000 readiness.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the first agency to make the reports available, said state nonmember banks may request copies as long as they have a contractual relationship with the vendor. Possible grades for a firm include "satisfactory," "needs improvement," and "unsatisfactory." The FDIC did not release a breakdown of the ratings earned by the 250 firms.

The agency cautioned that the list "does not constitute legal advice or an endorsement" of any company. Nor do the reports free a bank from the need to perform its own due diligence reviews.

To obtain copies of a firm's report, state nonmember banks may call the nearest FDIC regional office. Other financial institutions should contact federal regulators for copies.

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