Subject to any transitional relief, forms and templates applicable before 11pm Thursday 31 December 2020 should be read in conjunction with Supervisory Statement (SS) 2/19, which sets out how the PRA expects firms to interpret EU-based references in reporting and disclosure requirements and regulatory transactions forms.
This information applies to new firms seeking authorisation from us, including banks, credit unions, insurers (general and life), and managing agents of a Lloyd’s syndicate.
- Firms wishing to set up a new bank should refer to our New Bank Start-up Unit.
- Firms wishing to set up a new insurer should refer to our New Insurer Start-up Unit.
- Firms wishing to set up an insurance special purpose vehicle (ISPV) should refer to the Insurance special purpose vehicles page. This page also includes the relevant application forms for an ISPV.
A list of the regulated activities that are specific to firms that we authorise and regulate is available in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (PRA-regulated Activities) Order 2013 Opens in a new window Opens in a new window.
Firms seeking authorisation to carry out any other activities should apply to the Financial Conduct Authority Opens in a new window Opens in a new window (FCA).
The pre-application stage
We find that meeting with prospective firms before they submit an application helps them to:
- understand the authorisation process and what happens at the various stages
- understand our expectations of firms, and in particular the PRA and FCA Threshold Conditions Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window
- identify any particular concerns that the regulators might have early on, and help firms make an informed decision about whether to spend time and money on an application that may not progress further
- submit as complete an application as possible.
However, there is no statutory requirement to meet us before submitting an application. An application can be submitted at any time, and we will use our statutory powers as set out in the Financial Services and Markets Act Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window (FSMA) to reach a decision.
For firms who are new to the regulatory environment (such as start-up firms), we generally aim to meet three times with firms:
- Initial meeting: This takes place after a firm submits its draft business plan. It provides an opportunity for firms to discuss their plan and ask the regulators (us and the FCA) questions about the authorisation process. The regulators will provide written feedback for the firm to respond to in its business plan.
- Feedback meeting: This takes place after a firm has submitted – and we have reviewed – its updated business plan. We will again provide feedback, which the firm will be expected to address in its business plan.
- Challenge session: This takes place just before a firm submits its application, with the aim of discussing its proposals in depth and with the regulators providing detailed challenge on the content of the firm’s near-final business plan. Firms will be expected to incorporate feedback from this session into their application.
Firms who have an existing relationship with us may not require as many meetings, and for small, less complex and established businesses we often find that one meeting achieves the aims as set out above.
Meetings are generally attended by both ourselves and the FCA and will typically be held at either the FCA’s or our offices in London. Exceptions will primarily be made for internationally headquartered firms.
To initiate a pre-application meeting, we would expect as a minimum an explanation of why a firm wants to be an authorised entity and the initial business proposition and strategy including, but not limited to, the:
- business plan – what products will be offered, how they will be offered and the target market
- sources of funding – how the business proposes to fund its activities, and whether there are any investors and/or funding in place
- corporate governance – details of structure, board, senior management and governance arrangements, as far as they are known.
We may ask for further information, such as information on the proposed controllers if relevant.
To request a pre-application meeting, a firm that has an existing relationship with us should contact their relevant supervisory contact. For those new to the regulatory environment, please email PRA-AuthsVoPsCancellations@bankofengland.co.uk.
Pre-application: Lloyd’s managing agents
Firms applying as Lloyd's managing agents should have had detailed discussions with Lloyd’s before they submit an application to us. A pre-application meeting will depend on the specifics of the application, but it will usually involve Lloyd’s and the firm.
Pre-application: credit unions
We have specific requirements for credit union applicants’ business plans, which are set out in Credit union authorisation: supporting documents Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window.
Submitting an authorisation application
To submit an application, firms will need to follow the following steps:
- Firms will need to send an email with an electronic copy of their application to the PRA at the following mailbox: NewFirmAuthorisation@bankofengland.co.uk.
- If the file size exceeds 25 MB please use multiple emails to accommodate your submission.
The preferred method for payment of fees is via BACS, however cheques are also accepted. Further details regarding Regulatory Transaction Fees can be found within the PRA Rulebook.
Please make the payment to the FCA using the details below:
Account name: FCA Collection account
Bank name: Lloyds Bank
Account number: 00828179
Sort code: 30-00-02
Swift code: LOYD GB 2LCTY
Iban code: GB68 LOYD 3000 0200 8281 79.
When you make the payment, please reference it with the following: Title: 'New authorisation application' and the 'firm name' (Name of the firm applying for authorisation).
The cheque should be sent to us at the following address: Prudential Regulation Authority, Authorisations, 20 Moorgate, London, EC2R 6DA but should be made payable to the Financial Conduct Authority as the scheme administrator (please note the FCA cannot accept post-dated cheques) and write the name of the ‘Applicant firm’ and title ‘Application for authorisation’ on the reverse of the cheque. The Cheque should also be accompanied by a covering letter.
We will make a decision, alongside the FCA, on all applications within six months of receiving a complete application, or twelve months of receiving an incomplete application.
For an application to be considered as complete, it will need to include all of the required application forms, which have been fully and correctly completed. The information provided must be of sufficient quality and detail to allow us to complete our assessment.
Lloyd's managing agents: application forms and guidance
How we assess and determine applications
Part 4A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) sets out the requirements of new firm authorisations and the Threshold Conditions that firms must meet at authorisation and on an ongoing basis.
Our supervisory approach documents set out our policy on the matters that we consider when we decide whether to authorise a firm.
Authorisation will not be granted unless both us and the FCA are satisfied that it should be. If an application is unsuccessful, we will inform the firm about its options for challenging the decision.
We may vary or cancel a firm’s permission if it does not start a regulated activity for which it has permission within 12 months of permission being given.
How we use your information
Information we collect
Through our authorisations forms, the Bank of England (the ‘Bank’) collects personal data about you. This personal data could include (depending on the application or notification form submitted) personal identification details, contact information, addresses, employment history and information relating to fitness and propriety such as criminal, civil and regulatory matters. Each form clearly states what personal data is being gathered. The Bank may make further enquiries and seek similar information from third parties and other data sources as we think appropriate to identify and verify information that we consider relevant to the application or notification, this could include criminal, credit and other background checks.
Why we need your personal data
The Bank collects personal data to process a range of authorisation applications and notifications, which include:
- New firm authorisations
- Senior Management Functions
- Waivers and Modifications of rules
- Variations and cancelling of Permissions
- Change in Control
- Standing Data
This information is used to assist the Bank of England in discharging its functions, in particular the statutory functions of the Prudential Regulation Authority under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and other relevant legislation.
What we do with your personal data
In complying with applicable laws and for law enforcement purposes, we may disclose information to any government entity, regulatory authority or to any other person the Bank reasonably considers necessary. This may mean that personal data is transferred outside the United Kingdom. Otherwise, we will not disclose your information without your permission. Your personal data will be retained in accordance with the Bank’s records management schedule.
You have a number of rights under data protection laws. For example, you have the right to ask us for a copy of the personal data the Bank holds about you. You can also ask us to change how we process or deal with your personal data, and you may have the right in some circumstances to have your personal data amended or deleted. To contact us about those rights, including making a request for the personal data we hold about you, or to find out more about privacy and data protection at the Bank, please see the Privacy and the Bank of England page.