Michael Foot, managing director and head of financial supervision at the Financial Services Authority, said: 'There are many positive indicators to justify the belief that the financial sector - both infrastructure and individual firms - is well prepared and that it will be 'business as usual' into the New Year.
'Independent assessments by the FSA, the Bank of England and the information put out by the industry indicate a very high level of readiness. We have reached mid-November with no significant glitches. The indications of consumer opinion, confidence in the wholesale markets, the behaviour of fund managers and of lenders all indicate a high level of confidence that it will be business as usual.'
'I am pleased to be able to confirm that using the Action 2000 traffic light system, all High and Medium Impact firms are Blue. However in the unique circumstances of Year 2000 there can be no certainties and no complacency. Firms must remain fully focused on Year 2000 during the remainder of the year and the Millennium date change itself. They need to have in place well planned and fully tested business continuity plans; they need to track market and consumer opinion closely; and to implement effective communication strategies with their customers and counterparties.'
'The FSA is fully geared up for the final lap. In the remaining weeks of the year, we will continue to promote consumer and market confidence and provide the markets, the public and the media with an independent perspective of the readiness of the UK financial sector.'
Over the Date Change period the FSA will be operating a 24 hour-a-day Millennium Event Office monitoring the situation in the UK and worldwide, and we will make periodic statements about overall progress towards opening for business and later about how the industry has opened for business.
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