Chairman Levitt’s Letter to Broker-Dealers
re: The Year 2000
October 27, 1997
I am writing to express my concern about the securities industry's readiness for the Year 2000. As you well know, unless modifications are made, at midnight on December 31, 1999, the vast majority of computer systems may not be able to distinguish the Year 2000 from the Year 1900. Obviously, this could have extremely serious consequences for our financial system. Indeed, as reflected in the recent Statement on the Year 2000 by the International Organization of Securities Commissions, this matter is of global concern.
Preparing for the Year 2000 should be of the highest priority for securities firms. The Commission has been active in communicating with the industry and the public, and we are working closely with numerous securities industry organizations to make a successful transition to the next millennium. While many broker-dealers have already begun to address this issue, I want to stress how important it is that all broker-dealers currently be implementing plans and devoting adequate resources to modify their computers to make them ready for the Year 2000.
I urge you to have all necessary modifications in place by the end of 1998 to allow your firm's participation in industry-wide systems testing scheduled during 1999. I also encourage you to keep the regulatory authorities apprised of your progress and to notify them immediately if you expect any problems.
I sent this letter to your attention as you are the firm's contact person in the Commission's records. Please convey this letter to the chief executive officer of your firm. Thank you for your attention to this critical matter. If you have any questions, please contact Richard R. Lindsey, Director, Division of Market Regulation, 202/942-0090.