New firm authorisation

New firms wishing to become a bank, credit union, insurer or managing agent of a Lloyd’s syndicate need to apply to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) for permission first.

Overview

EEA banks and insurers that currently have passporting rights into the UK from the EEA and wish to apply for authorisation from the PRA should refer to the dedicated webpages for information on the authorisation of EEA banks and insurers, and the temporary permissions regime

The information on this page applies to new firms seeking authorisation from the PRA, including banks, credit unions, insurers (general and life), and managing agents of a Lloyd’s syndicate. 

Firms seeking authorisation to carry out any other activities should apply to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

A list of all regulated activities is available in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (PRA-regulated Activities) Order 2013

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 
  • 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 sent at any time, and we will use our statutory powers as set out in the Financial Services and Markets Act (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:

  1. 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 (the PRA and the FCA) questions about the authorisation process. The regulators will provide written feedback for the firm to respond to in its business plan.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 the PRA 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 the PRA and the FCA and will typically be held at either the PRA’s or the FCA’s 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 the PRA 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 if necessary it will 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.

Submitting an authorisation application 

To submit an application, firms will need to follow the following steps:

For applications where the total file size amounts to 25 MB and below:

For applications where the total file size amounts to 25 MB and above:

  • Please contact the PRA Authorisations Department using the following mailbox: PRA-AuthsVoPsCancellations@bankofengland.co.uk to request login details to be able to access and submit the documents via the Bank of England Data Submission (BEEDS) portal. Users will need to provide the following information:
  • Firm name and firm reference number (FRN) (6 digits)
  • Forename
  • Surname
  • Email address
  • Telephone number (used to receive a session security code as part of the log in process, users find a mobile number easier)

Further information and guidance can be found in the BEEDS Portal User Guide & BEEDS Quick Reference Guide:

PDFBEEDS Portal User Guide

PDFBEEDS Quick Reference Guide

Fee

The preferred method for payment of fees is via BACS, however cheques are also accepted. Please refer to FEES 4 in the FCA Handbook for more information.

BACS method

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).

Please then email your remittance advice and payment details to: fcafees@fca.org.uk PRA-AuthsVoPsCancellations@bankofengland.co.uk.

Cheque method

The cheque should be sent to the PRA 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. 

The PRA and FCA will make a decision 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. We also expect firms to have incorporated responses to the feedback provided during the pre-application stage.

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 the PRA policy on the matters that we consider when we decide whether to authorise a firm.

Authorisation will not be granted unless both the PRA 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. 

PRA Direction notices

PDFPRA Direction notice, 16 December 2015

PDFPRA Direction notice, 18 September 2015

Privacy notice

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
  • Passporting

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 European Economic Area. 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. 

Your rights

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.

This page was last updated 10 December 2018
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