PRESS RELEASE

ECB publishes TARGET Annual Report 2011: the system functioned smoothly and registered a higher turnover

31 May 2012

The TARGET2 system functioned smoothly in 2011, with a market share of 91% of the total value of payments in large-value euro payment systems, according to the TARGET Annual Report 2011 that has been published by the European Central Bank (ECB) today.

The report indicates that, by 31 December 2011, a total of 976 direct participants had opened an account in the TARGET2 system. These direct participants had registered 3,465 indirect participants from countries in the European Economic Area, as well as 13,083 correspondents worldwide. When all branches of these direct and indirect participants are included in the figures, almost 60,000 credit institutions across the world can be addressed via TARGET2. Consequently, TARGET2 continues to be instrumental in promoting an integrated euro area money market, which is a prerequisite for the effective conduct of the single monetary policy, and contributes to the integration of the euro financial markets and ultimately to financial stability.

In 2011, the number of payments processed by the TARGET2 system increased slightly by 1.1%, while the value of payments grew by 3.3% in comparison with the previous year. This corresponded to an average daily volume of 348,505 transactions and an average daily value of €2,385 billion. The reason for the growth in the value of TARGET2 traffic in 2011 is largely attributable to operations with the central banks, in particular in the second half of the year.

The availability of the Single Shared Platform (SSP) stood at 99.89%, affected only by one incident that made the system unavailable for three hours on 25 July 2011.

Chapter I of the report provides information on TARGET2 traffic, its performance and the main developments that took place in 2011. Chapter 2 presents the TARGET2 system and gives background information on its predecessor. The annexes provide details of the main features of TARGET2, as well as a chronology of developments in TARGET/TARGET2. The report contains four information boxes on current topics of interest, such as the TARGET2 balances of national central banks, the period of transition from proprietary home accounts to the SSP and TARGET2 business continuity and contingency. Lastly, the report contains a list of general terms and acronyms, and a glossary.

The TARGET Annual Report 2011 can be downloaded from the ECB’s website.

Note to the Editors:

TARGET stands for Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross settlement Express Transfer system. It is the Eurosystem’s real-time gross settlement system for the euro. The first-generation TARGET system was replaced by TARGET2 in May 2008. In TARGET2, the decentralised structure of the first-generation system was replaced by a single technical platform, or the “Single Shared Platform” (SSP), to which all payment orders are submitted for processing. Three Eurosystem central banks – the Banca d’Italia, the Banque de France and the Deutsche Bundesbank – jointly provide the SSP for TARGET2 and operate it on behalf of the Eurosystem.

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