Expressing concern about a "serious threat" posed to the computer systems of the financial services industry, the Senate Banking Committee recently asked government regulators to report on the state of preparedness for the so-called "Year 2000 problem."

Many experts have warned about an approaching data-processing debacle involving computer systems that employ only two digits to represent the year. On Jan. 1, 2000, when such systems reset the year to 00, they may misinterpret the date to mean 1900 and malfunction or even fail as a result.

Bank, thrift, and credit union regulators as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission have until March 21 to report on their efforts to assess the problem's scope and ensure that financial institutions take preventive measures, according to a Feb. 27 letter from the committee.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.