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Home > Prudential Regulation Authority > New Bank Start-up Unit > New Bank Start-up Unit - pre-application

New Bank Start-up Unit - pre-application


This section covers the things for you to consider during the pre-application stage, and what happens next, including: 

You may find it helpful to refer to the FAQs which include information on Small Specialist Banks, technology and the use of consultants.

What is the purpose of the pre-application stage?

Our experience tells us that meeting with prospective new banks before they submit their application can be highly beneficial for both parties. Experience has also taught us that a number of structured formal meetings will help you:
  • understand the authorisation process and what happens at the various stages;
  • understand our expectations of you and in particular the PRA’s and the FCA’s Threshold Conditions;
  • identify any particular concerns that we might have early on and help you to decide whether you want to spend time and money on an application that may not progress further; and
  • submit as complete an application as possible.
However, you do not have to meet us before you submit an application. You can send your application to us at any time and we will use our statutory powers as set out in FSMA to reach a decision on your application. 
At the end of the pre-application process we expect that you will have a clearer understanding of the resource implications for you
and that your application, when you submit it, will be of sufficient quality for us to reach a decision as quickly as possible

What do the pre-application meetings with us involve?

The pre-application meetings are intended to support your progress through the pre-application process and help you submit an application which is as complete an application as possible. We have found that three meetings are sufficient, with the potential for additional meetings depending on whether you take the mobilisation route and/or your proposals include the need for innovative or particularly complex IT systems or the outsourcing of key operational aspects of your business.

  • Initial meeting – This is held after you submit your draft Business Plan. It provides an opportunity for you to discuss your plans with us and ask questions about the authorisation process including whether or not mobilisation is appropriate for you. It also provides use with an opportunity to get a sense of your plans, and we will provide written feedback for you to respond to as your Business Plan develops.
  • Feedback meeting– This is held after you have submitted, and we have reviewed, your updated Business Plan, which includes feedback from the initial meeting. We will again provide written feedback which you will be expected to address in your Business Plan.
  • Mobilisation and/or operational risk meeting (optional) – We may arrange this meeting if you are going to take the mobilisation route and/or your proposed business is particularly dependent on IT or outsourcing arrangements.
  • Challenge session – This is held just before you submit your application with the aim of discussing your proposals in depth and with us providing detailed challenge on the content of your near-final Business Plan. You will be expected to incorporate feedback from the Challenge session in your application.

We will explain any changes to the content and number of pre-application meetings we have with you, as needed. Please remember these
meetings provide you with the opportunity to discuss your plans and progress in detail face-to-face with us outside of the statutory timeframes
that will apply when you submit your application.
  • The meetings will typically be held at either the PRA’s or FCA’s offices in London where you will be expected to attend in person rather
    than by telephone or video conference. Exceptions will primarily be for internationally headquartered banks.
  • You should send materials to us a minimum of 10 working days (15 working days for a challenge session) before the meeting. This will allow us to review them thoroughly before we meet. If you cannot meet this deadline we may have to reschedule the meeting.
  • Your advisors or consultants are welcome at all pre-application meetings but we do not expect them to speak on your behalf. 
  • We will send you an agenda before all meetings which will centre on your explanation of the materials that you have sent us and the attendees from each regulator.
  • After each meeting we will provide you with formal written feedback.

 What are our expectations of you and what can you expect from us?

The table below outlines what you can expect from us and what we expect from you during the pre-application process.
You will: We will:
  • Address or incorporate any feedback provided by us into your Business Plan before moving to the next stage.
  • Aim to have the minimum number of meetings with you during
    the pre-application stage.
  • Develop your plans, complete the necessary work, prepare and send materials in good time for meetings with us.
  • ​Both attend all meetings unless we advise you otherwise.
  • Be open, honest and co-operate with us.
  • Be open, honest and give clear feedback on your proposals.
  • ​Provide all information that you think we should be aware of.
  • ​Not provide a consultancy service. You should engage others if you need this.
  • ​​Ensure key individuals at your firm who will drive the proposition forward are involved throughout the process and attend the pre-application meetings.
  • ​Both be involved in the pre-application process and will ensure it is as seamless as possible.

 What are the pre-application timeframes?


The pace at which you progress through the pre-application stage is largely up to you. We expect you to keep us up to date on progress and will endeavour to hold pre-application meetings in as timely a way as possible. If, however, we do not hear from you for six months we will assume
that you do not want to proceed with your application.

 How do you start the pre-application process when you're ready?

To start the pre-application process, you should contact us and we will arrange an initial meeting.

 What are the next steps?


To find out more about the various pre-application meetings click on the boxes below. 

Didn't find the information you were looking for on this page? Email us.
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