1. Member States shall require institutions to maintain in addition to the Common Equity Tier 1 capital maintained to meet the own funds requirement imposed by Article 92 of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013, a capital conservation buffer of Common Equity Tier 1 capital equal to 2,5 % of their total risk exposure amount calculated in accordance with Article 92(3) of that Regulation on an individual and consolidated basis, as applicable in accordance with Part One, Title II of that Regulation.
2. By way of derogation from paragraph 1, a Member State may exempt small and medium-sized investment firms from the requirements set out in that paragraph if such an exemption does not threaten the stability of the financial system of that Member State.
The decision on the application of such an exemption shall be fully reasoned, shall include an explanation as to why the exemption does not threaten the stability of the financial system of the Member State and shall contain the exact definition of the small and medium-sized investment firms which are exempt.
Member States which decide to apply such an exemption shall notify the Commission, the ESRB, EBA and the competent authorities of the Member States concerned accordingly.
3. For the purpose of paragraph 2, the Member State shall designate the authority in charge of the application of this Article. That authority shall be the competent authority or the designated authority.
4. For the purpose of paragraph 2, investment firms shall be categorised as small or medium-sized in accordance with Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises ( 1 ).
6. Where an institution fails to meet fully the requirement under paragraph 1 of this Article, it shall be subject to the restrictions on distributions set out in Article 141(2) and (3).