PRESS RELEASE

Publication of the TARGET Annual Report 2003

12 May 2004

The European Central Bank (ECB) is today publishing the TARGET Annual Report 2003. This publication, which is the fourth of its kind, gives an overview of TARGET operations in 2003.

TARGET is the most important large-value payment system in the euro area. Some 3,350 banks use TARGET to initiate payments and more than 43,000 banks -including branches and subsidiaries- are accessible through TARGET worldwide (and thus all the customers of these banks). In 2003, around 261,000 payments with a value of EUR 1.65 trillion were transferred on average per business day. This represents a share in overall large-value payments made in euro of almost 87% in terms of value and 58% in terms of volume.

The report provides information on TARGET payment flows and the system’s availability and resiliency. In addition, it describes the major developments affecting the TARGET system.

This publication will be distributed by each of the EU national central banks participating in the TARGET system to interested parties in their respective countries. Hard copies can also be requested by writing to the ECB's Press and Information Division at the address given below. It can also be viewed on or downloaded from the ECB’s website.

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