PRESS RELEASE

Publication of the TARGET Annual Report 2007

28 April 2008

The European Central Bank (ECB) is today publishing the TARGET Annual Report 2007. This publication, which is the eighth of its kind, gives an overview of TARGET operations in 2007.

TARGET is the most important large-value payment system in the euro area. Some 10,600 banks use it to initiate payments and more than 52,000 banks – including branches and subsidiaries – are accessible through it worldwide (and thus all the customers of these banks). In 2007 there was a significant increase in TARGET business in both volume and value terms, which grew by 16% and 12% respectively. TARGET’s market share in euro large-value payments in terms of value remained at the same high level (89%). In terms of volume TARGET’s market share increased by 1% to 61%.

Owing to TARGET’s pivotal role in maintaining financial stability in the European Union, the Eurosystem pays very close attention to the reliability and safety of TARGET. As a result, in 2007 the availability rate improved further to 99.90% (from 99.87% in 2006).

The TARGET Annual Report 2007 provides information on TARGET payment business and the system’s robustness, resiliency and oversight. In addition, it describes the replacement of the technically decentralised TARGET system by the TARGET2 system, which is based on a single technical platform that is shared by all participants. A first group of countries migrated to TARGET2 on 19 November 2007 and a second group migrated on 18 February 2008. The last group of countries is foreseen to migrate on 19 May 2008.

The report can be viewed on or downloaded from the ECB’s website (under “Publications”).

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