St George slams Moody's Y2K claim

St George Bank's chief general manager, information technology, John Loebenstein, has attacked Moody Investor Services' claim that the bank will not begin year 2000 testing until March 1999 as "totally incorrect".

Referring to comments made in a recent report from Moody's, in which the bank was given a negative credit outlook due in part to the millennium issue, Loebenstein said he was at a "loss to know where [Moody] got the information" which has "never been true".

In the report -- Australian banks -- Asia and the Pressures of Consolidation -- Moody senior vice president, banking and sovereign analyst Sean Jones said while most Australian banks "want to test by the end of the year", St George Bank "will not be testing until March 1999".

Loebenstein said St George began 2000 testing in the latter part of 1996. He said that "all critical and major [systems for St George] will be code compliant and user accepted by the end of this year".

"We are already significantly down the track," Loebenstein told ComputerWorld. "By the end of this year our systems will be Y2K compliant and we will spend a good part of next year doing further testing."

According to the report the main reason for the negative credit outlook was the increased competition in the Australian mortgage market.

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