Y2K delays E*Trade global launch

Y2K technology freezes in the US have hampered E*Trade Australia's attempts to offer online cross-border trading with US financial markets.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission-imposed Y2K lockdown has delayed E*Trade's plans to go live with cross-border trading by the end of the year.

E*Trade's general manager of marketing, Bill Wileman, said in June that E*Trade's US affiliate would be the first of its existing business units to join the program, mainly because it has been up and running for some time under its own steam, and its current technological infrastructure is deemed capable of supporting the global initiative.

However, the Y2K lockdown affected E*Trade's US affiliates, Wileman said.

He said the company was now "looking at early next year" to launch the service.

In preparation for US trading, E*Trade launched a financial news service on its Web site earlier this year so its users could keep in touch with the US markets, Wileman said.

New Zealand is also slated to go live with cross-border trading next year, Wileman said. The New Zealand Stock Exchange has upgraded its Seats system, he said, and was now technically ready to join E*Trade Australia.

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Ellen Cresswell

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