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Banks could face run on Y2K money

Nat West admits it's only 98 per cent compliant

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Worries were surfacing today that banks will not have enough money if people start panicking about the Year 2000 problem. There are also concerns about whether large banks will have their Y2K plans in place by the 31st of December next. Banks, typically, have most of their funds tied up in other investments and at any one time only have five per cent of cash available through retail outlets and automatic teller machines (ATM). Although most UK banks insist that their Y2K programmes are completely up to speed, this type of information is not public knowledge. A representative for Nat West said: "We're over 98 per cent compliant and so we're almost wholly compliant. We think that anyone who puts up their hand and says they are 100 per cent compliant is foolish. She said that Nat West will communicate to its five million customers this year its stance. "Banking on the first of January 2000 will be no different than banking on the 31st of December," she said. The banks are keeping their plans close to their chests and trying to underplay such worries. Earlier this week on ITV's Richard and Judy Show, Richard seemed to be saying he had bought up almost any candle and bit of rice from his local supermarket. ®

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