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Publication of the TARGET Annual Report 2008

15 May 2009

The European Central Bank (ECB) is today publishing the TARGET Annual Report 2008. This ninth issue of the report takes account of the developments which took place in TARGET [1] in the course of 2008.

2008 saw the end of the period of migration from the first-generation TARGET system to its successor, TARGET2. After five years of planning, the Eurosystem successfully launched the TARGET2 system in November 2007, and this second-generation system replaced the original TARGET system entirely in May 2008. In TARGET2, the decentralised structure of the first-generation system has been replaced by a single technical platform, the “Single Shared Platform” (SSP). 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.

The TARGET system functioned smoothly in 2008 and the number of euro payments settled continued to increase. The payments processed by the TARGET system increased by 1% in volume terms and 10% in value terms by comparison with the previous year, with an average daily volume of 369,966 transactions, representing an average daily value of €2,667 billion. The system’s market share remained stable, with around 90% of total payment values in euro large-value payment systems being executed via TARGET, and the availability of the system reached 99.98%. Finally, on 22 December 2008 TARGET processed 574,022 transactions in a single day, an all-time high.

By 31 December 2008 a total of 747 direct participants had opened an account on the SSP of TARGET2. These direct participants had registered 3,806 indirect participants from European Economic Area countries, as well as 11,031 correspondents worldwide. When all of the branches of these direct and indirect participants are included in the figures, 55,867 credit institutions around the world can be addressed via TARGET, which represents around 60% of the banks connected to SWIFT worldwide.

The TARGET Annual Report 2008 provides background information on TARGET, its performance and the main developments that took place in 2008. Chapter I documents the establishment of the first-generation system and the development and implementation of its successor, TARGET2; Chapter II details TARGET activity in 2008; and Chapter III contains two articles on topical issues: the impact that the financial turmoil is having on TARGET, and the effect of the migration to TARGET2.

The Eurosystem has the statutory task of promoting the smooth operation of payment systems. Its main instrument for carrying out this task – aside from its oversight function – is the provision of payment settlement facilities.

The TARGET Annual Report 2008 can be downloaded from the ECB’s website.

  1. [1] Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross settlement Express Transfer system. Further information on TARGET and TARGET2 can be obtained from the ECB’s website at:


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