Payment system continues to function normally in 2000
The reports received by Norges Bank over the first weekend of the year 2000 from the main participants in the payment system confirm the absence of any significant problems in connection with the transition to the year 2000. The payment system is functioning normally, both with regard to point-of-sale terminals for purchasing goods and services, cash withdrawals from ATMs and telebanking services. A few ATMs failed to function but the problems were solved in the course of Saturday 1 January.
Norges Bank has also received reports confirming that the clearing and settlement system for securities is functioning normally.
Norges Bank supplied a substantial amount of liquidity to the market through the issue of fixed-rate loans extending from 21 and 30 December 1999 to 11 January 2000. There were no problems linked to the distribution of liquidity among banks.
Figures for Norges Bank's cash holdings show that net withdrawals up to and including 31 December were about NOK 3 billion higher than for the entire month of December 1998. At 31 December 1999, Norges Bank's holdings of notes stood at NOK 48.7 billion. None of Norges Bank's 12 regional branches, which are located in different areas of the country, has reported exceptional demand for cash.
Norges Bank is responsible for promoting a robust and effective payment system. Norges Bank is also a settlement bank for payment transactions between banks and the settlement of securities transactions. Norges Bank has thus collaborated closely with the main participants in the payment system in preparing for the changeover to the year 2000. In order to contribute to a smoothly functioning payment system, a contingency task force was established to ensure the continuity of the financial infrastructure. This task force is headed by Norges Bank and is also composed of payment system participants and representatives of the Banking, Insurance and Securities Commission.
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