Media Releases
Published Date: 01 March 1999

MAS Press Statement on Year 2000 Tests on Financial Sector Networks Successful

01 Mar 1999... MAS announced today that it has successfully carried out Year 2000 tests for its two nation-wide networks for the financial industry, the MAS Electronic Payment System (MEPS) and MASNET. The objectives of the industry-wide tests were to ensure the two systems could interpret and correctly handle dates associated with the Year 2000 and also to recognise the Year 2000 as a leap year.

MEPS is a real-time gross settlement system to facilitate Singapore dollar interbank funds transfers and the settlement of scripless Singapore Government Securities (SGS). The Y2000 test for MEPS, which involved a total of 97 banks, was completed in November 1998. All aspects of MEPS operations were tested, including interbank funds transfer transactions, SGS transactions and settlement of cheque and inter-bank GIRO clearing figures transmitted from the Automated Clearing House (ACH).

MASNET is a financial sector communications network operated by MAS. The MASNET test was completed in February 1999, involving almost 200 financial institutions. Linkages with the Stock Exchange of Singapore (SES), CPF Board, Board of Commissioners of Currency Singapore, Land Transport Authority, Ministry of Manpower and Institute of Banking and Finance were also tested.

Industry-wide tests are a key component of MAS' supervisory programme to ensure the integrity of the financial system into the Year 2000. Infrastructure service providers such as Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX), Stock Exchange of Singapore (SES) have also successfully conducted industry-wide Y2000 tests of their IT systems.

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Chairman of the Financial Sector Year 2000 Readiness Steering Committee, said that he was pleased with the results of the industry-wide tests. "These results, coupled with the latest returns from financial institutions as well as findings from MAS' on-site reviews of financial institutions, show that the financial sector is making very good progress towards achieving Year 2000 readiness. In 1999, we will focus our efforts on conducting more industry-wide tests, as well as detailed development and testing of contingency plans."