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Special Event

Millennium 2000: Y2K Bug Appears to Have Little Bite as California Banks Re-Open

Aired January 1, 2000 - 3:00 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BOBBIE BATTISTA, CNN ANCHOR: The dreaded Y2K computer bug does not appear to have had much bite. Lights are on, telephones are working. And just to reaffirm Y2K compliance, a few bank are even open today.

CNN's Susan Read visited one in California.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN REED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Customer were few and far between at one of the few banks open on New Year's Day. California Federal opened close to 100 of its branches in California and Nevada for convenience and to reassure anyone with concerns about Y2K problems.

So far, no major problems reported by any federal banking agency. Bankers from coast to coast have spent their new year's in bunkers, monitoring offices worldwide, making sure all systems are go.

Here at Union Bank of California, they have spent $50 million on Y2K, the entire industry spent $10 billion, and it paid off. The year 2000 has arrived without a hitch.

The biggest concern, of course, was hoarding. The Federal Reserve printed piles of extra currency, about $225 for each man, woman and child in the U.S. So banks would have enough cash.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is business as usual for banks and their customers, thank you.

REED: The chairwoman of the FDIC invited reporters to join her as she showed her ATM was working just fine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

REED: With me now is Robert Trujillo, he is an executive at Cal Fed Bank.

What's going do happen to all of that extra cash that the Fed sent out?

ROBERT TRUJILLO, CALIFORNIA FEDERAL BANK: Well, over the next several weeks we will be sending the money back to the government, so to speak, and we have been prepared obviously for the Y2K issue, which has become a non-event with our organization.

REED: So no concerns in the coming days?

TRUJILLO: None whatever. We have, obviously, substantial cash to fulfill the needs of our customer. But we will be sending it back.

REED: Thank you, Robert.

TRUJILLO: Thank you.

REED: So, we have got a few more days to watch these banks and the Federal Reserve is asking all banks to check in regularly, let them know if there are any computer problems, or any unusual customer behavior, just to make sure that when the banks start processing the first transactions of the year 2000 that things will continue to be OK.

Back to you.

BATTISTA: All right, Susan, thank you.

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