The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has previously issued guidance on developing a Year 2000 customer awareness program. The guidance encourages institutions to make a concerted effort to inform their customers of the Year 2000 issue and steps they are taking to minimize the risk that customers may be affected by Year 2000-related computer problems. The attached FFIEC "Year 2000 Customer Communication Outline" provides guidance on the elements necessary for effective communication statements on Year 2000 readiness.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the other FFIEC-member agencies have undertaken a number of Year 2000 communication initiatives to help financial institutions convey meaningful and informative messages to customers. Financial industry trade associations have also provided useful information to customers on the Year 2000 issue.
The FDIC has issued several Year 2000-related products for consumers. A brochure, The Year 2000 Date Change, was issued in June 1998 together with camera-ready art to enable institutions to reproduce the brochure for their customers. In December 1998, the FDIC published two additional products for use by institutions in their customer awareness programs: The Year 2000, Your Bank and You, which is a special edition of the FDIC Consumer News; and a Year 2000 customer account statement stuffer. The newsletter and statement stuffer were also provided in camera-ready art. Financial institutions have provided millions of copies to consumers, and the FDIC encourages their continued distribution. Ordering instructions for each of the publications is provided in FIL-137-98, which can be found on the FDIC's Internet site (www.fdic.gov) under the Financial Institution Letter link.
The FDIC responds to public inquiries relating to the Year 2000. Financial institution customers with questions about a specific institution are referred to the institution. The FDIC believes that financial institutions are the best source of information on their Year 2000 readiness and should be able to provide meaningful responses to customers with Year 2000 questions. An institution's ability to answer appropriate questions about its Year 2000 preparedness reflects favorably on the institution and the industry. The "Year
2000 Customer Communication Outline" provides a framework approach that should be beneficial in formulating responses.
The attached interagency statement and related information on Year 2000 issues are available on the Internet via the World Wide Web at http://www.ffiec.gov.
Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)
NOTE: Paper copies of FDIC financial institution letters may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 801 17th Street NW, Room 100, Washington, DC 20434 (800-276-6003 or (703) 562-2200).