A BankBoston executive warned Congress Tuesday that the banking industry may be running out of time to solve its year-2000 computer glitches.
David M. Iacino, senior manager of BankBoston's millennium project, told a Senate Banking Committee field hearing in Hartford, Conn., that his company has been concentrating on the year-2000 problem for nearly three years and still has repairs left.
"Knowing that all financial institutions must address the very same issues that we have faced with much less time remaining, I am concerned with the general preparedness of the rest of the financial services industry domestically and, more so, internationally," he said.
Laggards could pose a danger to the entire payments system because of the "enormous interdependency" of financial institutions, he said.
"Unless comparable programs to BankBoston's are put in place within the next few months, the effect will adversely impact even those that are adequately prepared."
Mr. Iacino called for federal legislation that would give all regulators of financial institutions broad examination powers, ease software copyright laws that slow computer reprogramming, and protect financial institutions from punitive damages in class actions spurred by year-2000 computer errors.
His testimony also warned banks to closely scrutinize whether vendors and acquired institutions have fixed their computer systems.