News Release

NASD Regulation to Track Year 2000 Readiness of Brokerage Firms

Washington, D.C.—NASD Regulation, Inc., has announced in a NASD Special Notice to Members that member firms must report on their progress in making their systems Year 2000 compliant. The Year 2000 problem is that many computer software programs cannot effectively process dates after December 31, 1999. This can result in systems failure or inaccurate processing of data. The Year 2000 problem is particularly acute for the securities industry because of its heavy reliance on information technology to run securities markets, maintain and accurately report on individual and institutional securities holdings, and comply with securities laws and regulations.

"Ensuring that brokerage firms’ computer systems continue to operate successfully after December 31, 1999, is essential. It is imperative that firms aggressively take on the Year 2000 challenge and that the automated systems they rely on to meet their regulatory, market participant, and investor protection obligations will be Year 2000 compliant," said Mary L. Schapiro, President of NASD Regulation.

The Notice reiterates that it is the responsibility of every member of the NASD to analyze the readiness of its own automated and other computer systems on which it relies. NASD member firms that have returned a completed "Year 2000 Survey" to The New York Stock Exchange are exempt from the NASD survey requirement, at this time. All other firms must return the completed survey to NASD Regulation’s Year 2000 Program Office by January 31, 1998.

NASD Regulation oversees all U.S. stockbrokers and brokerage firms. NASD Regulation, and The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc., are subsidiaries of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD®), the largest securities-industry self-regulatory organization in the United States.