Passporting

Firms that are authorised in a European Economic Area (EEA) state can carry out activities in any other EEA state in a process known as ‘passporting’.

A firm authorised in an EEA (European Economic Area) state can carry on permitted activities in any other EEA state by either establishing a branch or agents in an EEA country or providing cross-border services. This is known as ‘passporting’.

The activities that are 'passportable' are set out in the relevant EU single market directives. If a firm wishes to carry out activities that are not passportable, it must contact the relevant competent authority of the host state to determine whether direct authorisation is needed.

Passporting rights only apply within the EEA, so they do not, for example, apply in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man. Switzerland is not an EEA state, but Swiss general insurers have the right to set up an establishment in the EEA under special bilateral treaties between the EU and Switzerland. EEA general insurers also have equivalent rights in Switzerland under these treaties. Special arrangements also apply to Gibraltar.

Outward passporting

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is the lead regulator for outward passports for dual-regulated firms (firms regulated by both the Financial Conduct Authority and the PRA) under these seven current single market directives:

  • Capital Requirements Directive (2013/36/EU)
  • Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC)
  • Insurance Mediation Directive (2002/92/EC)
  • Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2004/39/EC)
  • Undertaking Collective Investment Scheme Directive (85/611/EEC)
  • Payment Services Directive (2007/64/EC)
  • Second Electronic Money Directive (2009/110/EC)

Submitting outward passport notifications

Firms wishing to passport under MiFID II should notify the PRA by using the relevant form in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2382 of 14 December 2017 laying down implementing technical standards with regard to standard forms, templates and procedures for the transmission of information in accordance with Directive 2014/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council. Firms exercising rights under the Capital Requirements Directive are referred to Note 1 below.

If a regulated firm intends to passport out of the UK under any of these seven single market directives, it must inform the PRA using the following form/s:

Branch notification form: for UK firms wishing to establish their first branch in a particular EEA state, and UK firms wishing to notify us of changes to the details of a current branch.

PDFBranch notification form

Cross-border services notification form: for UK firms wishing to provide cross-border services in another EEA state, and UK firms wishing to notify us of changes to the details of their current cross-border services.

PDFCross-border services notification form

Capital Requirements Directive forms: for UK firms wishing to establish their first branch or provide cross- border services in a particular EEA state, and UK firms wishing to notify us of changes to the details of a current branch or cross-border services. 

Capital Requirements Directive forms

Note 1. The EBA templates have not been updated to reflect new MIFiD II activities/financial instruments of:

  • Organised Trading Facility (OTFs)
  • The new financial instrument (C11) of emission allowances. 

Firms intending to passport outwards under the CRD for these activities/instrument types should complete the relevant EBA template, and also set out in the accompanying email:

  • which of the above MiFID II activities they wish to notify- use only the descriptions as set out in the list above
  • whether they wish to notify on a branch or services basis and
  • which EEA states the notification applies to.

In respect of OTFs firms should also supply information relating to:

  • the type of financial instruments traded on this platform
  • the type of trading participants to this platform
  • details of the appropriate arrangements in place to provide remote access to the platform and
  • the firm's marketing strategy to target remote users, members or participants in the host

In respect of emissions allowance firms should also provide information relating to the ‘Investment Services and Activities’ and/or ‘Ancillary Services’ applicable.

Only these activity and investment types can be notified in this way, and only as an interim measure until the EBA templates are updated.

Declaration form: for signatory UK firms exercising an EEA right derived from the Capital Requirements Directive.

PDF Declaration form

We will inform the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about all passport notifications. We do not charge for passporting services, but a fee may be levied by other host states.

How we assess outward passporting firms

We will seek reassurance about the risks posed to our objectives by UK firms wishing to operate in the EEA. The depth of our review of a passporting notification will be proportionate to its impact on our objectives, within the extent permitted by the relevant directive.

When we receive an outward passporting notification from a UK firm, we will assess the adequacy of the firm’s resources and administrative structure and whether the firm meets the requirements under the relevant directive. We may also assess whether significant individuals are fit and proper to carry out the proposed business.

Our powers in relation to outward passporting vary according to the relevant directive. However, we will expect firms wishing to passport out of the UK to provide information to inform our ongoing supervision of the UK parent and the consolidated group.

Our timelines for processing outward passporting notifications are set out below:

 Directive   Timeframe to process/respond
 Capital Requirements Directive   Establishment: Three months
 Services: One month
 Solvency II Directive for life and non-life insurance business  Establishment: Three months
 Services: One month
 Solvency II Directive for reinsurance business  Services: One month
 Insurance Mediation Directive  Establishment: One month
 Services: One month
 Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID)  Establishment: Three months
 Services: One month
 Undertaking in Collective Investment Schemes Directive  Establishment: Two months
 Services: One month
 Electronic Money Directive  Establishment: One month
Services: One month
 Payment Services Directive  Establishment: One month

 

Changes to the original notification

You must notify us of any subsequent changes to the original notification details, such as changes of address, management or organisational structure, before the change is implemented (unless caused by circumstances beyond the firm’s control), in accordance with the HM Treasury EEA Passport Rights Regulations (SI 2001/2511).

Credit institutions must notify us of any such changes to the PRA using the form in Annex I of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 926/2014. If a credit institution plans to terminate the passport it must notify us using the form in Annex IV of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 926/2014.

Inward passporting

A firm from another EEA state can passport into the UK on either a ‘services’ basis (if it does not have a physical presence in the UK) or a ‘branch’ basis (if it opens an office in the UK). Either way, in most circumstances it will still be regulated by its home-state regulator.

Submitting inward passport notifications

The home-state supervisor is responsible for informing the regulators of a firm’s intention to passport into the UK. Notices under the Capital Requirements Directive (2013/36/EU) and the Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC) should be directed to the PRA. Notices under any other EEA directive should be directed to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA is required to consult with us under certain circumstances, for example where there is a dual-regulated firm in the EEA firm’s immediate group.

Notifications should be submitted by email to PRA-Passporting@bankofengland.co.uk or by post to:

Authorisations Division,
Prudential Regulation Authority,
20 Moorgate,
London EC2R 6DA.

We do not charge for passporting services.

How we assess inward passporting firms

When we receive an inward passporting notification from an EEA supervisory authority, the depth of our review will be proportionate to the firm's potential impact on our objectives, within the extent permitted by the relevant directive.

Our assessment will be based on the information provided by home-state regulators and any subsequent information requests. This assessment is intended to inform the dialogue with the home state regulator and to prepare for supervision of the firm.

In some cases, we may judge that an EEA firm notifying us of its intention to passport into the UK poses risks to our objectives, but does meet the requirements set out by the relevant EU directives, and therefore has the right to conduct business in the UK. In such cases we will carefully consider the tools available to us as a host regulator, acting in cooperation with the home regulator, to mitigate the resulting risks.

Our timelines for processing inward passporting notifications are set out below:

 Directive  Timeframe to process/respond
 Capital Requirements Directive   Establishment: Two months
 Services: One month
 Solvency II Directive for life and non-life insurance business  Establishment:Two months
 Services: One month
 Solvency II Directive for reinsurance business  Establishment: Two months

 

Passporting frequently-asked questions

PDFPassporting FAQs

 

This page was last updated 15 March 2018
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