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PRESS RELEASE

Publication of the Target Annual Report 2005

19 May 2006

The European Central Bank (ECB) is today publishing the TARGET Annual Report 2005. This publication, which is the sixth of its kind, gives an overview of TARGET operations in 2005.

TARGET is the most important large-value payment system in the euro area. Some 10,400 banks use it to initiate payments and more than 52,750 banks – including branches and subsidiaries – are accessible through it worldwide (and thus all the customers of these banks). In 2005 TARGET traffic increased by 10% in comparison with the previous year in both value and volume terms. Around 296,300 payments with a value of EUR 1.9 trillion were transferred on average per business day (after 267,000 payments with a value of EUR 1.7 trillion in 2004). This represents a share in overall large-value payments made in euro of 89% in terms of value (after 88% in 2004) and 59% in terms of volume (58% in 2004).

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 2005 the availability rate improved further to 99.83% (from 99.81% in 2004).

The TARGET Annual Report provides information on TARGET payment business and the system’s robustness, resiliency and oversight. 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 (under “Publications”).

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