A Moment in Bank History Using New-Fangled Tech

Gillian van Schaick:                                                     
An Early Dial-In Conference Call


During the Asian financial crisis in 1998, the Network Management function of the Global Custody Department hosted its first-ever dial-in conference call for hundreds of institutional clients. Until then, the team had always used fax as the mechanism to inform clients of developments affecting stock exchanges, central bank regulations and settlement risks in about 80 countries. 

On September 1, 1998, the Government of Malaysia imposed currency controls overnight, and we learned this news in New York in the early morning. The objective of this multi-client call was to inform them about what we knew and what this might mean for their institutions' investments in the Malaysian market.

The Network Management function decided to leverage a new technology that was available. We faxed clients an invitation to dial in to a call, accessed with a single number and password.  It was a success!  Conference calls with a bridge number and password are now second nature, but, 20 years ago, putting the callers' lines on mute for the presentation and opening up for questions were things that had to be thought through and planned.




  A New Series


Do you have a story about something you did at Chase (or Chemical, Manufacturers Hanover or the other heritage banks) that helped change the way business was -- and is -- done? Do you want that bit of bank history preserved? Contact Andrea Axelrod at news@chasealum.org.


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