Banks, stockbrokers and insurance companies say they are doing their best to ensure the millennium bug problem is overcome by the end of this year after regulators stepped up efforts to eradicate any possible impact come January 1, 2000. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority yesterday gave a strong warning to banks that it might restrict their planned expansion in Hong Kong if they failed to demonstrate progress on the issue. A Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Co official said the bank started addressing the problem in the 1980s and since 1986 had only purchased computers that were Year 2000 compliant. 'The majority of the bank's computers have overcome the millennium bug problem,' she said. 'The bank is aiming to have solved the problem entirely by the end of this year.' A Securities and Futures Commission official said the commission had just completed a survey of stockbrokers, futures and forex traders to gauge their progress on the issue. 'The commission is studying the results. We have set up a special taskforce to monitor the broking community's progress,' he said. Hong Kong Stockbrokers Association chairman Dannis Lee Jor-hung said the majority of its 490 members had hired computer specialists to fix the problem and expressed confidence most would have dealt with the problem by the end of the year. 'It is a matter of survival. If your computer collapses in 2000 you will lose your clients. 'Therefore, all small and medium-sized stockbrokers are devoting resources to solving the problem,' Mr Lee said. Commissioner of Insurance Alan Wong Chi-kong said the commission was working with its 214 members to ensure they solved the problem on time and he was confident the changes would have been made by the end of the year.