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One Last Word On Y2K

by Dana Turner

NOTE: Just when you thought you had it all done - you discovered there were still some issues to be covered for last minute Y2K. We promise, this will be the very last that you'll hear from us about Y2K! But Dana has some real, good, last minute advice.

  1. Make sure you have all the people identified that will make a difference. Critical are your President, Chief Financial Officer, Security Officer, Audit, Compliance, Operations, Coordinators, Team Leaders, Information System people, Human Resources, Tellers, Branch Managers and Facilities Manager. All are "on duty" from December 28 until January 7. (Unless all is well earlier.) Almost all need a back-up, and you need to know who they are, where they are at all times, all addresses, contacts, telephone numbers, cellular phone numbers, and schedules. Make sure all (except tellers) have cellular phones, even if you have to rent or lease them for the days needed.

    Let your key people know all of you should expect to work 12/12 shifts during the critical days. That is 12 hours on, 12 off - best for continuity.

    Discuss the event with Audit. It will be the Security Officer's job to handle and/or investigate any incident. It is Audit's job to document and report to the Board of Directors.

  2. Arrange for your financial institution's attorney to be continuously available in case legal advice is needed.

  3. Arrange child care in-house or at another facility. If the schools close, and most of your people have children, they're going to need child care so they can come to work.
  4. Arrange to rent a van from the 28th to the 7th. It may be necessary to transport people, equipment, etc.

  5. Make prior arrangements with a caterer to handle food for employees who can't leave to eat.

  6. If you think you may need to transport cash using either the rented van or employees' automobiles, your normal insurance will not cover them. And the employee's auto insurance also will not apply.

    Arrange for a short term policy to cover any vehicles you may need to use. A rider on the bank's policy will cover such use, and is inexpensive.

  7. Get in touch with commercial, critical depositors and make sure they will be able to handle the additional expected or unexpected action and/or cash flow. Offer your help. Hospitals, lumber yards, schools, gas stations, super markets. Make some CRA points while you're about it by conducting training presentations about readiness.

  8. Your local police department is already on alert. Ask them to pass your offices in roving patrols, including your branches in their regular routes.

  9. Contact any payroll EFT customers, one last time, to be sure all is well and they have tested and retested. Pray about government EFTs.

  10. Safe deposit customers may pose a problem if they can't get in their boxes. Take this into consideration - particularly if you plan to close any branches, and so make access impossible. Someone planning on a trip to Europe whose passport is in an inaccessible box could be upset. Of such stuff are lawsuits made...

  11. Have a central command center location and phone, and make sure it is manned at all times from the 28th to the 7th. Communicate the number and location to every single person in your financial institution. No decisions made elsewhere.

  12. Plan on operating your bank with a pencil and paper. Have paper, magic markers, and a two week supply of every form you use in each location. Have a month's supply of official checks on hand. Customers may accept those in lieu of cash if you offer - or if you run out of cash.

  13. Have rope and stands for "Z" lines ready and available at all branch locations in case they are needed for crowd control. Branch managers, and every available executive, should be "on the floor" during this time, glad handing and reassuring people.

  14. Decide, NOW, if you are going to offer escort to depositors who take a lot of cash out of their accounts. If your parking lot is attached to your bank, you may want to provide escort - or you may not. Review your areas, your branch location, and evaluate the danger and/or the appearance of liability and the forseeability of harm. How will you handle this situation? Discuss and decide.

    But make your decision before the transaction comes up, and make it known to the front line.

  15. Make sure there is petty cash on hand to buy food for hard working employees who can't get out to eat.

  16. Ascertain that every location has stored water for drinking and for flushing toilets.

  17. If your parking lot is attached to or surrounds your branch facility, tell your employees to park somewhere else between the 28th and the 7th. Two reasons. One, your customer activity may be heavier during that time and you'll need the parking for them. Two, if there is an "incident", your employees' cars will be safer out of the lot.

  18. If possible, outsource your ATM servicing for the duration. If not, double up your ATM teams. DO NOT allow anyone to go to a remote ATM alone - especially during these weeks.

  19. IMPORTANT ! Remind your president, CEO, and branch managers they are especially vulnerable during this time for hostage situations. It is a prime time for a kidnaping. Tell them to discuss this with their families and to take extra precautions.

  20. Communicate with your board of directors - keep them well informed. Ask each one of them to be available during these dates to help - in any capacity.

BANKERS' HOTLINE advisor, Dana Turner, Security Education Systems, is a security practitioner based near San Antonio, Texas. He can be reached at

Copyright © 1999 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 9, No. 9, 10/99

First published on 10/01/1999

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