Euro weekend to be `smooth'

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The Independent Online
THE BANK OF ENGLAND and the Financial Services Authority issued a joint declaration yesterday that the "conversion weekend" over the New Year for the introduction of the euro on 1 January "will run smoothly".

For the past three years the Bank has been preparing for the gigantic task of converting all the City's systems to cope with the single European currency.

Yesterday it published the 10th edition of its quarterly paper "Practical Issues Arising from the Introduction of the Euro", the last before the conversion date.

The Bank declared that it had been testing and trialling conversion of cash transfer systems such as Chaps and Target since the summer, and these trials had gone well.

But the Bank warned that some second-tier fund managers and stockbrokers have failed to respond to the Bank's proposals for euro bank and custodian account details.

The Issues paper includes the availability of public transport and car parking in the City over the conversion weekend. The Rotherhithe Tunnel will be closed, but "parking in the City will be free of charge, and single yellow lines not enforced".

Practical Issues has a circulation of 42,000 and is available on the Internet at http:www.bankofengland.co.uk/piq.htm.

John Townend, the Bank of England's director for Europe, has steered the City's preparation for the euro. He said yesterday: "Even though the UK is not joining the single currency at the outset, the euro will still be widely used across the City's financial markets."

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