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BANKERS SAY THEY'RE READY, AGAIN

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The V.I. Bankers Association has, once again, assured the public that the banks are fully prepared for Y2K.
In a release Wednesday, Robert Haines, president of the V.I. Bankers Association, said a Gallup Poll found that nine out of ten bank customers continue to express confidence in their bank's readiness.
In the shadow of the impending change to the Year 2000, banks have been at the center of concerns about computer glitches. A large part of the concern rests on fears there will be a run on banks by customers wanting to their access cash, fearing computer chaos when the date changes.
Haines, who is the local vice president for ScotiaBank, said the Gallup survey that is being sponsored by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, "shows that as we move toward the new year, consumers are extremely confident that banks are well prepared for Y2K."
In a release earlier this month Haines said, "All of the territory's banks, both large and small, are testing and re-testing their systems to be sure that it will be business as usual during the change to 2000. Next month, next year, and everyday, the safest place for your money is in the bank."
The Gallup survey results also indicate that the public remains confident that basic payment systems will work and that people will still have access to their money. Most people polled also said they thought that automatic teller machines would work, and credit card systems and electronic direct deposit systems would function normally.
Dean Adams, a member of the Bankers Association Community Relations Committee told Radio One News that the bankers have worked hard to assure that Y2K would be a non-event.
Adams also cautioned the public not to take too much cash out of the bank for the long holiday weekend and spend it all, leaving themselves short for repaying Christmas bills.
The Community Relations Committee has offered these tips for Virgin Islands bank customers.
They are:
1. Stay informed. Read the Y2K information your bank sends you.
2. If you don't already, keep your bank statements and records of your transactions, particularly the months just before the date change.
3. If you bank on-line, make sure your computer is Y2K compliant. Most computer and software manufacturers have extensive Websites on their products' readiness. Keep a back-up disk of your records.
4. Avoid scam artists who offer to "hold" your money through the date change. The safest place for your money is in the bank.
5. During the date change, take out only as much cash, as you would need for any long holiday weekend. If you feel you need more, your bank will be ready.

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