Notifying the Prudential Regulation Authority of Passporting | FAQs
Is a passport notification required?
If there is a 'cross-border' element to the activities carried on, or to be carried on in the future, by the firm, it needs to make a notification to its home state regulator that it wishes to passport, either by way of provision of cross-border services or by way of establishment of a branch and/or agents.
I am a UK-authorised firm wishing to passport out of the UK, which regulator should I submit my notification to?
The PRA is the lead regulator for dual-regulated firms in respect of all current single market directives. The PRA will be responsible for assessing these notifications. These should be submitted using the forms in the PRA handbook available here http://fshandbook.info/FS/html/PRA/SUP/13
Please note that as of 20th July 2015 Firms can no longer submit Passport applications via ONA as they had done before.
FCA-only regulated firms should send all outward passport notifications to the FCA. For further information on this please see the FCA website www.fca.org.uk
I am an EEA firm wishing to passport into the UK, which regulator will deal with my application?
The PRA will be the lead regulator if the firm is passporting into the UK under the Capital Requirements Directive, the Third non-life Insurance Directive, the Consolidated Life Assurance Directive or the Reinsurance Directive. The firm’s EEA home state supervisor will liaise with the PRA, and the PRA will consult the FCA, in respect of the notification.
Notifications should be emailed direct to the PRA, though hard copies will also be accepted. The PRA’s contact details can be found below.
If a firm is passporting in under other single market directives, the FCA will be the lead regulator. The FCA’s contact details can be found below.
What are the single market directives?
All single market directives are defined in paragraph 1, Schedule 3 to FSMA. These are the:
- Insurance Mediation Directive (2002/92/EC);
- Capital Requirements Directive (2013/36/EU);
- Third Non-Life Insurance Directive (92/49/EEC);
- Consolidated Life Assurance Directive (2002/83/EC);
- Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2004/39/ EC);
- Undertaking Collective Investment Schemes Directive (85/611/EEC);
- Reinsurance Directive (2005/68/EC).
- Payment Services Directive (2007/64/EC)
- Second Electronic Money Directive (2009/110/EC)
Which countries can I passport into?
There are 30 (not including the UK) EEA States with passporting rights: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus*, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
*Cyprus - although the whole of Cyprus became part of the EU in May 2004, EU legislation only applies to the Republic of Cyprus (the Southern part of the island) and so passporting rights only exist to this extent.
Channel Islands & Isle of Man - the single market directives do not apply in these territories, even though they are Crown dependencies. This means that firms based in these territories are treated in the same way as firms based in a non-EEA State and do not have passporting rights under the FSMA single market directives.
Similarly, UK firms do not have passporting rights in relation to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. As such, UK firms will have to apply directly to the relevant financial regulators in each territory for permission to conduct business there. The PRA and the FCA have no formal involvement in this process (although firms should keep the PRA and the FCA informed of their activities).
Gibraltar - Gibraltar has a different status to the Channel Islands and Isle of Man and the single market directives apply to it in full. However, passporting rights apply only between EEA States therefore passporting rights do not apply between Gibraltar and the UK. As such, the UK and Gibraltar have agreed special arrangements under the Gibraltar Order.
Firms must submit a notice of intention to the PRA which will, in turn, notify the Gibraltar regulators.
Switzerland - Switzerland is not an EEA State therefore there are no passporting rights under any of the single market directives. That said EEA general insurers do have the right to set up an establishment in Switzerland (and vice versa) under the provisions of special bilateral treaties between the European Union and Switzerland. However, it is important to note that this is not a passport right – a Swiss general insurer will still need to obtain Part IV permission to set up a branch in the UK (although such a branch would not need an additional permission for insurance mediation).
When applying for a passport to undertake cross-border services (i.e. services from offices in the UK to overseas clients) should firms apply for 'all states' or only the states where they intend to do business?
This will be up to each individual firm to decide and a firm should consider its particular business model, including how it obtains its clients and whether there is a real intention to conduct business in a particular EEA State(s).
Firms should be aware that they are likely to receive various requests for information from host state regulators in the EEA state(s) that they will need to deal with. They may also be charged a fee by the host state regulators.
SUP Appendix 3.3.14 states Blanket notification is the practice of the Home State regulator notifying all Host State regulators in respect of all activities regardless of any genuine intention to carry on the activity. This practice is discouraged by the PRA. However, a firm may be carrying on activities in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in a way that necessarily gives rise to a real possibility of the provision of services in other EEA States. In such cases, the firm should consider with its advisers whether it should notify the relevant authorities and include that possibility in its business plan.
Credit Institutions wishing to notify the PRA of an intention to undertake cross-border services should complete the services passport notification form in Annex V to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 926/2014. This form requires Credit Institutions to provide details of the hosts states in which they intend to carry out their activities.
How do I know whether an establishment or cross-border services passport is needed?
The firm would need to apply for an establishment passport if intends to hold a physical presence within the host state.
If the services are provided on a temporary basis (by remote means such as through the internet) and the recipient moves to another EEA State to receive the services, then this suggests a cross-border services arrangement and so a cross-border services passport is required.
What if a UK firm's website is accessed by a client in an EEA State, who then requests a pack or completes the application online - does this come under the passporting rules?
This might come under the passporting rules, but only if, following application of the 'characteristic performance' test, the activity of 'selling' to the client is deemed to take place in the EEA State concerned.
Are there any FSMA single market directives under which UK firms can automatically conduct business without the need to notify the UK regulator or do firms need to notify them in all instances?
No, all UK firms must notify either the PRA (if dual-regulated) or the FCA (if FCA-only regulated) if they wish to conduct business within another EEA State under any of the single market directives. For further details on which regulator should be notified see the second and third questions in the FAQs.
If a UK firm has an establishment in an EEA state, does that establishment have to make a separate notification to do business on a cross-border basis into other EEA states? And what if the establishment does business back into the UK?
An establishment of a UK firm in another EEA state can provide services into countries for which the head office has already made a services passport notification. The head office would have to make a further notification if it wished the establishment to provide services into countries for which it had not already made a notification. If the establishment does business on a cross-border basis back into the UK, no passport notification is required.
The firm cannot make a passport notification to us in respect of activities being carried on solely in the UK. Passporting notifications can only be made in respect of activities that are intended to be carried on within the territory of another EEA member state (see SUP Appendix 3.6.5G).
PRA and FCA contact information
Dual regulated firms should use the passport notification forms in the PRA Handbook. This can be found here - http://fshandbook.info/FS/html/PRA/SUP/13
For futher information for FCA regulated firms please see the FCA website www.fca.org.uk
Firms wishing to passport or notify changes to passporting under the CRD must submit a notification in the form prescribed by the Annexes to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 926/2014.
Inward passport notifications should be emailed to the PRA at the address below. Alternatively, hard copy notifications may also be submitted.
PRA Authorisations - Assessment & Monitoring Team
Prudential Regulation Authority
London, EC2R 6DA
PRA passporting queries
Any passporting queries should be directed to the Firm Enquiries Function:
PRA Firm Enquiries
Prudential Regulation Authority
London, EC2R 6DA
Phone: +44 (0) 20 3461 7000
FCA passport queries
The FCA’s contact details in respect of passporting notifications and queries are:
Financial Conduct Authority
25 The North Colonnade
London, E14 5HS
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7066 1000
Note: UK authorised firms wishing to passport out of the UK should submit their application form using the Connect system except for those firms which wishing to passport under the CRD where notification must be made to the PRA by email to PRA-Passporting@bankofengland.co.uk using the forms in Annex I and V of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 926/2014