View more on these topics

Products facing 2000 meltdown

The financial services industry is preparing for a winter product shutdown because of the millennium computer bug.

Leading companies are preparing to freeze product development in the final quarter of 1999 because of the bug, which could cause widespread system shutdowns as computers fail to recognise the change of date from 1999 to 2000.

Despite spending millions making their systems year 2000 compliant, several leading financial services companies say they do not have enough faith in them to launch major product developments towards the end of the millennium.

Standard Life, Scottish Widows, Royal Bank of Scotland, Legal & General, NatWest and Barclays have confirmed they are imposing a freeze on product development from October, with others expected to follow suit.

Money Marketing understands all high-street banks have been meeting to discuss the problem.

The move comes despite NatWest spending £113m, Legal & General £39m and Standard Life £14m on attempting to beat the bug.

From October, Standard Life will also place a freeze on all major implementations covering IT infrastructure and application changes.

NatWest Mortgage Services press officer David Sheridan says: “Although we are fully confident our systems are compliant and the people that we conduct business with are fully compliant, NatWest Group has made a decision not to launch any initiatives from October 1999.”

Legal & General group press officer Graham Rimmer says: “There will be a freeze on non-essential changes to systems from November until after the millennium. There will not be any products put on the systems towards the end of the year.”

Technology correspondent Ian McKenna says: “I would be amazed if any financial organisation launches any new products in the final quarter of this year. It wouldn&#39t surprise me if some companies stop launching new products as early as the second half of this year.”


Chelsea Building Society announces record mortgage lending

Chelsea Building Society&#39s gross lending increased 12 per cent to £739m in 1998.Its retail funding increased by 13 per cent to £448m and savers&#39 balances grew by £450m.Its pre-tax profits were up 12 per cent to £33.5m and total assets increased by 15 per cent to more than £4bn.

Merchant Investors launches Capital Investment Portfolio

Merchant Investors, a subsidiary of German insurance giant Allianz, is launching a new capital investment portfolio.The single premium investment bond has a minimum investment of £10,000 and gives access to a range of funds including links to investment trusts, unit trusts and oeics, managed by managers such as Aberdeen Prolific, Fidelity, Framlington, Invesco and Perpetual.Managing […]

BUPA offers one month of free cover for Critical Illness plans

BUPA is offering one month&#39s free cover to anyone taking out a Critical Illness policy before the end of this month.The health insurer it wants to raise public awareness of its product range and increase IFA sales.Sales development manager Sue Wilkinson says: &#34BUPA is a household name in the private medical insurance and long term […]

Abbey appoints S&P&#39s Robert Wright

Abbey National is appointing former Save & Prosper senior executive Robert Wright as its product director of retail banking.Wright, who has held marketing roles at BUPA, Portman Building Society and Midland Bank, will be responsible for the strategic development of bank accounts, personal loans and credit cards.Retail product director Ambrose McGinn: &#34We are delighted Robert […]


Almost nine in 10 employers admit failings with post-DRA compliance

The default retirement age (DRA) was abolished more than three years ago, yet new research from Jelf Employee Benefits suggests that the vast majority of employers still have some way to go to fully understand, comply and communicate the landmark legislation change that prevents older employees being forcibly retired on the grounds of age alone.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm