Question ID:
Legal Act:
Directive 2013/36/EU (CRD)
Other issues
COM Delegated or Implementing Acts/RTS/ITS/GLs/Recommendations:
EBA/GL/2014/10 - Guidelines on criteria to identify other systemically important institutions (O-SIIs)
not applicable
Disclose name of institution / entity:
Name of institution / submitter:
Oesterreichische Nationalbank
Country of incorporation / residence:
Type of submitter:
Competent authority
Subject Matter:
O-SII Buffer on individual and consolidated level

Article 131(5) of the CRD (Directive 2013/36/EU) states that “the competent authority or designated authority may require each O-SII, on a consolidated or sub-consolidated or individual basis, as applicable, to maintain an O-SII buffer..”. May the competent authority or designated authority also require a single O-SII to maintain an O-SII buffer both on a consolidated AND individual basis?

Background on the question:

From the formulation “on a consolidated or sub-consolidated or individual basis” it is not entirely clear, if this is meant exclusively (either or but not more than one) or inclusively (one or more of these items). Economically, institutions can be (and are) systemically important both on an individual and consolidated basis therefore favoring the inclusive interpretation. However, Article 133 dealing with the Systemic Risk Buffer explicitly states the inclusive view, while this statement is lacking in Article 131 for O-SII. (Article 133(3) for comparison: “…on an individual, consolidated, or sub-consolidated basis, as applicable in accordance with Part One, Title II of that Regulation. The relevant competent or designated authority may require institutions to maintain the systemic risk buffer on an individual and on a consolidated level.”)

Date of submission:
Published as Final Q&A:
Final Answer:

Article 131(5) of the CRD (Directive 2013/36/EU) should be read in connection with Articles 131(1) and 131(3) of the same directive.

The identification of O-SIIs should take into account the criteria set in Article 131(3) of the CRD and the related EBA Guidelines (EBA/GL/2014/10). According to these Guidelines, as a general principle, authorities should assess the systemic importance of institutions at their highest consolidation level, in the first step. Relevant authorities may additionally apply the methodology specified in these guidelines at other appropriate levels. Thus, if the methodology allows it, O-SIIs can be identified at different levels of consolidation.

The provisions of Article 131(5) of the CRD allow to impose O-SII buffers for O-SIIs at different levels of consolidation, in order to accurately address the systemic risk stemming from their systemic importance.

When imposing one or more O-SII buffer(s) at different consolidation levels, the provisions of Article 131(8) of the CRD should be complied with, where applicable.


This question goes beyond matters of consistent and effective application of the regulatory framework. A Directorate General of the Commission (Directorate General for Financial Stability, Financial services and Capital Markets Union) has prepared the answer, albeit that only the Court of Justice of the European Union can provide definitive interpretations of EU legislation. This is an unofficial opinion of that Directorate General, which the European Banking Authority publishes on its behalf. The answers are not binding on the European Commission as an institution. You should be aware that the European Commission could adopt a position different from the one expressed in such Q&As, for instance in infringement proceedings or after a detailed examination of a specific case or on the basis of any new legal or factual elements that may have been brought to its attention.

Final Q&A
Answer prepared by:
Answer prepared by the European Commission because it is a matter of interpretation of Union law.
Note to Q&A:

Update 26.03.2021: This Q&A has not yet been reviewed by the European Commission in the light of the changes introduced to Directive 2013/36/EU (CRD).