PRESS RELEASE

Cross-border payments in TARGET: A users' survey

16 November 1999

Today the European Central Bank (ECB) has published a report presenting the results of a survey on the cross-border payment service offered by TARGET, as perceived by its users. Input for this report was obtained by means of a questionnaire addressed to the Banking Federation of the European Union (FBE), the European Group of Co-operative Banks, the European Group of Savings Banks, the Heathrow Group and the national TARGET User Groups. The report is also based on feedback from individual institutions collected during meetings and seminars as well as on the monitoring of the system by the national central banks (NCBs) and the ECB.

The survey indicates that TARGET is recognised as the de facto standard for making large-value cross-border payments in euro. Banks perceive TARGET not as a central bank utility which they are obliged to use, but as a service offered to them which can add value and reduce the risks involved in their operations. Nevertheless, banks have indicated some existing shortfalls, such as technical availability and harmonisation of the end-to-end service provided by TARGET, and expect further improvements in these areas. With regard to these issues, the report also presents the views of the Eurosystem and highlights those measures which are currently being implemented or considered.

In order to ensure that TARGET meets future market needs, the Eurosystem will continue to seek input from TARGET User Groups and, more generally, from the banking and financial community.

The report will be distributed by each of the EU central banks to interested parties in their respective countries. It can also be accessed via the ECB's Web site (pdf 292 kB), and copies are available from the ECB at the following address:

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