Money men will do Year 2000 job

Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 578 7249, e-mail, DX44700 Soho Square.

Andrew Clay is right to highlight the Government's failure to force businesses to become millennium compliant (The Lawyer, 20 October).

Indeed the position is much worse. The two bills to which he refers – the Companies (Millennium Computer Compliance) Bill and the Millennium Conformity Bill – are 10-minute private member bills, and therefore unlikely to become law.

But what the Government has not done, banks and auditors may achieve. Auditors already say they will qualify, from 1999 onwards, the accounts of companies who have not taken millennium compliance steps.

Banks have indicated that millennium compliance will affect their money-lending decisions and they are likely to withdraw financing from delinquent companies. Insurance companies are excluding Year 2000-related risks from general policies.

Even without legislation, businesses which fail to act face far worse than being "named and shamed".

Susan Hall, partner, Taylors solicitors, Blackburn