Less significant institutions (LSIs) are euro area banks that do not fulfil any of the significance criteria specified in the SSM Regulation – in contrast to significant institutions (SIs) that do fulfil at least one of them. The significance criteria relate to, among other things, a bank’s size, its importance to the economy of a specific euro area country or the EU as a whole, and the significance of its cross-border activities. In practice, the bulk of LSIs are smaller euro area banks whose assets do not exceed €30 billion.
LSIs are supervised by their national supervisors, under the oversight of the ECB, whereas significant institutions are directly supervised by the ECB.
To check if a euro area bank is classified as a significant or less significant institution – and to determine who supervises it – consult the ECB’s list of supervised entities. The ECB reviews the significance of every euro area bank on at least an annual basis.
The ECB is responsible for the effective and consistent functioning of the whole system of European banking supervision, which comprises the ECB and the national banking supervisors of euro area countries. In its oversight function, the ECB works closely with national supervisors to further harmonise the implementation of the rules governing banking supervision, while also ensuring that joint supervisory standards are applied consistently across the system. This helps ensure a level playing field for all euro area banks. Where necessary, in exceptional cases, the ECB may take over direct supervision of LSIs (see Article 6(5)(b) of the SSM regulation) to ensure consistent application of high supervisory standards.