Wells Fargo CD Notices Were a Century Off

SAN FRANCISCO - Wells Fargo & Co. confirmed Tuesday that it recently mailed retirement customers 13,000 certificate of deposit renewal notices with the year 1900 printed on them.The banking company traced the miscue to a supplier. "It was a printer error, not a Wells Fargo error," said company spokesman Lance Berg. "We feel confident that Wells is prepared for the year 2000."

The notices told customers in 10 states that their certificates would expire in January 1900 instead of January 2000.

When the mistake was discovered Dec. 13, Wells sent letters apologizing and notifying customers they would get revised renewal notices in a few weeks.

The New York Daily News on Tuesday reported that a similar gaffe occurred at Republic National Bank of New York.

The newspaper said the Republic New York Corp. unit mailed a letter to a Brooklyn woman saying repayment on a loan she received 30 days earlier was due Jan. 10, 1900.

The bank insisted that human error, not a computer, was to blame.

Bruce Webster, a director at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and co-founder of the Year 2000 Group, based in Washington, said similar problems could be in store for banks even if their systems are Y2K-compliant.

"Their issues may not so much be on their systems side but in problems with firms that owe them money," he said.

"The clients to whom they've loaned millions of dollars may have problems repaying their debts going into the new year."

- Carol Power

Wachovia's CEO Signs Two-Year Extension

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wachovia Corp. announced Tuesday that L.M. Baker Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, has extended his employment contract by two years.Mr. Baker, who has been CEO since 1994, had planned retire by age 60 in 2002, but will now stay on until he turns 62. The move will allow the banking company prepare for an orderly succession, Wachovia said in a statement.

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