Reserve Bank confirms Y2K cash stockpile

The Reserve Bank of Australia will print and stockpile extra cash later this year to fend off a Y2K-led grab-for-cash by jittery bank customers.

The organisation confirmed its plan of attack in reaction to a perceived fear by customers that the millennium bug may freeze their funds or prevent them from making credit card transactions during the new year.

The bank was coy in September last year when Computerworld enquired about its plans to bolster cash inventory levels in the lead up to January 1, 2000 (see Computerworld September 4, p34), saying only: "There will be sufficient stocks of cash on the day."

Last week however, it finally confirmed a plan to produce and issue further "pieces" of currency to ensure Australian bank customers are not left penniless after the crucial date change.

Reading from a prepared statement, Reserve Bank spokesman, Roger Hall said: "The RBA is supplementing its normally significant buffer stocks of notes in anticipation of additional demand for currency notes in the lead up to the year 2000. This is being done by printing a quantity of notes in addition to its normal requirements in 1999 and by stockpiling for possible use notes that, in normal circumstances, would be judged as unfit for re-issue on quality grounds."

Hall refused to reveal how much extra currency it would issue in the lead-up to the new year, but said it would be "significantly more" than the 180 million "pieces" it produced during 1997/98.

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