Industry Letters

Institutions that Engage Arthur Andersen and Contingency Plans for Vendors

March 22, 2002

To the Chief Executive Officer of the Institution Addressed:

The purpose of this guidance letter is to clarify the New York State Banking Department's (the Department's) position on institutions that engage Arthur Andersen (Andersen). The Department will continue to accept work performed by Andersen, including financial statements audited by Andersen. Should further developments warrant, the Department will announce any change to this policy. Institutions that decide to terminate their relationship with Andersen should inform the Department if management expects this decision to delay issuance of audited financial statements or cause other delays. The Department will determine whether it objects to any delays or related requests on a case-by-case basis. Institutions that follow the guidance issued by the federal financial institutions supervisory agencies on March 19, 2002 need not separately apprise the Department, but those institutions must provide the Department with a copy of relevant correspondence sent to the federal agency.

The Department reminds institutions that current, adequate contingency plans must be in effect in the event that any vendor can no longer fully provide its services. Examiners will review this as part of their overall supervisory examinations.

Very truly yours,


Elizabeth McCaul
Superintendent of Banks