Some City financial firms won?t have a Year 2000 computer problem because their failure to prepare for European monetary union will sink them before the end of the millennium arrives, says consulting firm Cap Gemini.
?There can be no doubting the critical importance of ensuring that computer systems are fully Year 2000-compliant, but banks in the City are misguided in the belief that preparing for EMU is any less essential,? says Colin Stringer, Cap Gemini director for Euro transformation services.
Financial resources to accommodate both changes will have to be diverted from other projects if banks are to hit the 1 January deadline for EMU and the Y2K deadline less than a year later, says Stringer. If necessary they should suspend all non-essential expenditures to cope.
Britain?s position over whether or not to join the first wave of EMU has distracted financial houses from the real issue, says Stringer: that settlement of transactions in Euro on the interbank market will become compulsory from the launch of EMU on 1 January 1999. Banks unable to handle the euro will lose their customers, he warns.
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