TARGET2, short for Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer system, is the RTGS-system provided through the Eurosystem. It is used for settling central bank operations, for large interbank transfers in euro and also for other euro-denominated transfers. The specific features of TARGET2 include processing in real time, settlement in central bank money and immediate finality.
TARGET2 sprang out of the original TARGET system which started up in 1999. Unlike TARGET, its successor TARGET2 uses a centralised technical infrastructure which makes the need to keep on a local system in each country superfluous. Three of the Eurosystem's central banks (Banca d'Italia, Banque de France and the Deutsche Bundesbank) jointly provide this platform and operate it on behalf of the Eurosystem.
The new system has been up and running since November 2007. In order to ensure a smooth and secure switchover to TARGET2, the Eurosystem opted for a gradual migration by groups of countries. On 18 February 2008, the Belgian banking community switched over to the TARGET2 shared platform. So, the Belgian real-time gross settlement system ELLIPS was shut down on 15 February 2008 at 6pm.
The National Bank of Belgium acts as the legal counterparty of the Belgian banks that participate directly in TARGET2 and thus remains their interlocutor in all matters concerning TARGET2.
THE BENEFITS OF TARGET2
The TARGET2 system:
- integrates high-performance instruments for liquidity management and optimisation;
- supplies harmonised services through the use of a single interface;
- permits a high degree of cost-effectiveness and an inexpensive single pricing system;
- encourages the integration of new Member States into the euro area;
- meets extremely high requirements as regards stability and business continuity.
TARGET2 OPENING TIMES
TARGET2 is open every day from 7am to 6pm, except on New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Day and Easter Monday, Labour Day (1 May), Christmas Day and Boxing Day (25 and 26 December).
ONLY FOR PROFESSIONAL USERS