Banks in the United States can get plugged in to the euro and its challenges through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and its World Wide Web site.
The New York Fed is sponsoring a Payments Risk Committee, a group of senior managers from major U.S. banks, including Bank of America, Bankers Trust Co., Bank of New York, Chase Manhattan Bank, Citibank, First Chicago NBD, J.P. Morgan & Co., and State Street Bank and Trust Co.
Senior executives on the committee meet quarterly and those on a working group meet every six weeks.
"The idea was to create a forum for people involved in the payments business to get together and discuss issues of common concern," said Darryll Hendricks, vice president at the Federal Reserve.
A task force of the committee has reviewed how the European Monetary and Economic Union will affect U.S. banks as well as payment and settlement systems. It has had meetings at the European Monetary Institute and drafted a list of unresolved issues to which banks need answers.
Last October, it set up a Web site at www.ny.frb.org/prc, which contains documents stemming from these efforts. It also lists other sites with information about the euro.
"We're trying to make people more aware, particularly smaller banks," said Mr. Hendricks.