Wall Street passes year 2000 test run

Wall Street passes year 2000 test run

A series of industry-wide year 2000 tests involving about 400 brokerages, clearing houses and stock exchanges yielded fewer errors than normally occur on a typical trading day.

Observers said the results were encouraging, but the tests by the Securities Industry Association (SIA) didn't include leap-year testing, nor did they involve overseas banks or stock exchanges.

The results, released last week, showed that Y2K-related problems affected only 0.02 per cent of the 260,000 or so transaction pieces. A typical trade might involve 25 or more of those steps, said Donald Kittell, executive vice president of the SIA.

Meanwhile, non-Y2K-related errors, such as data-entry and communication errors between firms, affected 2.5 per cent of the transaction components.

The error rates from six weekend tests conducted in March and April were lower than the rate that occurs on a normal trading day, said John Panchery, vice president of information systems at the SIA.

Transaction processing errors occur every day, but they're usually caught quickly and typically don't affect a trading position or the overall market.

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