ECB hails launch of Target2

ECB hails launch of Target2

Target2, the EU-wide real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system for large value payments, has been successfully launched, says the European Central Bank (ECB).

All Eurosystem central banks will connect to the Target2 system, which will eventually replace the national decentralised platforms operating under Target (Trans-European automated real-time gross settlement express transfer system).

The first migration group, which consists of the national central banks and the respective Target user communities in Austria, Cyprus, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta and Slovenia, have now migrated to the shared platform.

Three Eurosystem central banks - the Banca d'Italia, the Banque de France and the Deutsche Bundesbank - are jointly providing the technical infrastructure and are operating the Target2 platform.

Following the launch of Target2 attention will now shift to the implementation of an integrated securities settlement system in the euro zone, dubbed Target2-securities (T2S).

The ECB envisages that T2S will connect all clearing networks in the euro zone into a single platform, extending the payments system used for central bank operations to cover securities settlements.

Europe's banks have come out in support of the scheme, but only on condition that they get more say in the design and implementation of the system, and that banks have direct access to T2S.

But the plans have come under fire from European Central Securities Depositories Association (ECSDA) as TS2 would supplant services currently provided by its members.

Marc Bayles, the T2S programme manager at the ECB will be providing an update on the project at Finexpo, Finextra's annual capital markets conference at The Brewery in London on 30 January.

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