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...."Businesses are now in a burning building and one by one
the safety ladders are being kicked from underneath them"...

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has warned that it
cannot and will not "meet the consequences" of companies
failing to modify their systems in time for the Millennium
date change in computers.

Robin Guenier, executive director of Taskforce 2000,
commented: "Businesses are now in a burning building and one
by one the safety ladders are being kicked from underneath
them. The Government has said it will not pick up the bill
and now insurers have followed suite. It is clear that the
size and cost of this problem are massive and the bottom
line is that nobody wants to pay for it."

"Who can blame the insurance industry for taking this firm
line," he added. "The ABI has finally woken up to the fact
that it may face a deluge of claims for losses arising from
the Millennium computer problem. Although this pronouncement
is late, it would be wrong to expect insurers to absorb the
cost of failure - which could be more than the £30 billion
estimated to be needed to fix the problem."

"There is no reason why the insurance industry should bear
this risk and the ABI is only protecting its members. There
is also no excuse for senior businessmen not to know that a
serious problem exists and that it will take resources to

"Where there may be a case to answer for insurers, is in the
area of losses or damage resulting from third parties ie
where sub-contractors or suppliers affected by the date
change cause the problem. This needs to be looked at
urgently. But, in the wider context, for companies to
believe they can offset their costs through insurance would
be foolish."

"With auditors increasingly taking a tough stance,
businesses are becoming more and more isolated. It is for
this reason, that Taskforce 2000 must continue to push the
Millennium computer problem agenda forward. Turning the high
levels of awareness into understanding and therefore action
is now the Taskforce's number one priority. We are hopeful
that we will shortly be joined by others in this quest," he

Taskforce 2000 was set up in August 1996 as an independent,
not for profit, private sector organisation. To date it has
spent around £½ million, partly from public funding and
partly from the private sector. The independence of the
Taskforce enables it to speak freely about all issues
relating to the Millennium Bomb.

- Ends -

Note to Editors: A Year 2000 Awareness Week is being planned
by Taskforce 2000 for the week beginning 8th December 1997.

For further information contact Perveen Akhtar or Louise
Roberts at A Plus Group on 01753 790700.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Pleon in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit