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EDITIONS
Friday, 31 December, 1999, 16:44 GMT
Glitch-free NZ cheers banks
Celebrations in New Zealand
Mobile phones, and banks, are still working in New Zealand
Banks in the UK are hopeful of a smooth transition to the next century after computer systems at sister companies in New Zealand were given the date change all clear.

Lloyds TSB, which owns the National Bank of New Zealand, and Royal Bank of Scotland both reported that transactions in the early hours of the new millennium went without any glitches.

Into 2000
A Lloyds spokeswoman said: "We have just had our first reports in and it seems all of the major banks are operating normally in New Zealand.

"There have been no reported incidents with the National Bank of New Zealand and everything is absolutely fine."

Customers of the Royal Bank of Scotland travelling in New Zealand had successfully withdrawn cash shortly after seeing in the New Year, the bank said.

A spokeswoman said: "Everything is fine. There were ATM transactions made while people were out revelling the night away and who have gone to cash machines and withdrawn cash."


We are just watching and waiting

Bank of England

The news came as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand said that the country's banking systems had handled the changeover without any problems.

Other UK banks with operations in Australia and the Far East were awaiting reports as the New Year rolled across the globe towards the UK.

More notes in circulation

The UK Government's Millennium Centre, set up to monitor developments over the New Year celebrations, said that no bug problems had been reported in the Britain on Friday.

The Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority were also working together to monitor any problems reported by their overseas counterparts and the potential effects they could have in the UK.

The Bank of England has set up a "Blue Room", which has been operating since 29 December, to help monitor payment systems, banknote distribution and credit and debit cards.

Fears that there would be a rush to withdraw cash have proved, so far, to be misplaced, said the bank.

A spokeswoman said that by the end of business on 29 December there were 30.28bn worth of notes in circulation, compared to a normal figure during the course of the year of 25bn.

However, the figure, up from 28bn last New Year, was explained by the extra long holiday this year.

She added: "It's very quiet here so far, we are just watching and waiting."

See also:

31 Dec 99 | Business
30 Dec 99 | Business
30 Dec 99 | Business
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