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Activity and performance of TARGET2 in 2020

28 May 2021

The TARGET Annual Report 2020 looks at the performance and the main developments in TARGET2 over the year.

TARGET2, the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system operated by the Eurosystem, is one of the largest payment systems worldwide. In 2020 a total of 88.7 million transactions worth €465.8 trillion were processed in the system. Over 1,000 participants hold accounts in TARGET2 and through them payments in euro can reach over 44,000 banks worldwide.

The report reflects on the developments in payments traffic. Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the usual seasonal payment patterns partially shifted in 2020. The average daily volume of transactions recorded in TARGET2 increased until the second half of April after which the negative effects of the pandemic on the volumes became visible.

Overall TARGET2 service delivery and payment processing times remained stable in 2020 in comparison to previous years. However, three major incidents took place in 2020, resulting in a decrease in the system’s availability from 100% in 2019 to 99.46% in 2020. The Eurosystem has initiated an external review to improve efficiency in the provision of TARGET Services, including the T2-T2S consolidated platform that will go live in November 2022.

In addition, the report also provides special insights into the different payment profiles of TARGET2 participants, the introduction of measures to ensure the pan-European reach of instant payments via TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS), the effects of Brexit and the benefits of liquidity-saving mechanisms in TARGET2.