Variation of permission

A firm authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) must apply for a variation of permission if it wants to change the activities it carries out. 

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.


A firm authorised under Part 4A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) has a single Part 4A permission granted by us or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This permission includes a description of the activities the firm may carry on (including any limitations), the specified investments involved, and, if relevant, any requirements. A firm is prohibited from carrying on a regulated activity in the UK (or purporting to do so) otherwise than in accordance with its permission.

If a firm decides to do any of the following, it should review its Part 4A permission and decide whether it needs to vary it:

  • start a new line of business
  • undertake a new regulated activity
  • extend a business line into a new product or to a new class of people.

All regulated activities are defined in the Regulated Activities Order.

Part 4A of FSMA sets out the requirements of variations of permissions and the Threshold Conditions which must be met at authorisation of the activity and on an ongoing basis. Our approach to banking supervision and approach to insurance supervision set out our policy on the matters that we will consider in respect of the Threshold Conditions when we decide to grant permissions.

Variation of Permission FAQs

  • The business that a firm carries on, which is regulated by us or the FCA, is shown on the firm's entry on the Register (under the heading 'Permissions'). If a firm wishes to make any changes to its regulated activities that alter its permission on the Register, the firm must complete and submit a VoP application form.

  • A business activity carried on by a firm which is regulated by us and/or the FCA. If the firm has a Part 4A permission, its regulated activities are listed in its Scope of Permission Notice and on the Register. For further information about regulated activities, see the Regulated Activities Order (RAO).


  • Dual-regulated firms must apply to us for a change in permission for any of the regulated activities in the RAO. In addition, firms prudentially regulated by the FCA must apply to us for a change in permission to add any PRA-regulated activities in the RAO (accepting deposits, effecting or carrying out contracts of insurance, or managing the underwriting capacity of a Lloyd’s syndicate as a managing agent at Lloyd’s). Firms should apply to the FCA if they are an FCA-only regulated firm and they wish to carry out any other regulated activity.

  • If the proposed variation is a substantial change to the firm’s business model (such as adding deposit taking as a new activity) a pre-application meeting may be advantageous for both the firm and the regulators. Please contact your normal supervisory contact if you believe a discussion about the proposed change may be of value.

  • The FCA operates as the collections agent for us. Full details on the appropriate methods of payment can be found on the FCA website.

  • Inform us when submitting the application. If we have any further questions and/or requests for information, the firm is asked to reply as soon as possible. Where possible we will process the application by the requested date.

  • We will only treat a firm’s application as 'valid' once both the VoP application form and the full application fee (where an application fee is payable) have been received.

  • When an application is received, it will be assigned to a supervisor or case officer who will contact the firm within ten business days. We will lead on the application and we will work with the FCA to assess the application. The firm is dual regulated so both regulators will work together on what needs to be assessed for their own objectives. We are the lead regulator even if the firm is requesting the removal of all PRA-designated activities.

  • Firms wishing to conduct investment business must complete and submit a VoP application as below:

    • Dual-regulated firms must apply to us for a change in permission for any regulated activities including investment business.
    • FCA-only regulated firms applying to undertake investment business should apply to the FCA.
  • We are responsible for the prudential regulation of certain, very significant, investment firms with permission to deal in investments as principal. An investment firm applying to deal in investments as principal should, however, initially apply to the FCA for authorisation. If we identify that the firm may in future be designated, the FCA will involve us in the determination of the application.

  • If a firm is regulated by us and wishes to change its legal status, for example from being a partnership to a limited company, it must apply to us for authorisation for the new legal entity. The firm should contact its supervisor in the first instance to discuss how to proceed.

How to apply for a variation of permission

Dual-regulated firms must apply to us to vary their permission.

Firms must complete and submit their variation of permission application using the Connect system. This system is owned and maintained by the FCA, but all relevant applications will be directed to us. There may be a fee payable for the application, details are included within the Connect system.

Apply for a variation of permission

Credit unions may apply to amend their permission via paper application form. Credit unions may wish to engage with their supervisory contact to discuss the application before submitting the form.

WordVariation of permission application form: credit unions

Firms should refer to the PRA Rulebook to determine the relevant fee for their application.

You can pay the application fee by sending a cheque to us made payable to the Financial Conduct Authority (as the fee administrator) to PRA Authorisations, Authorisations Division, Prudential Regulation Authority, 20 Moorgate, London EC2R 6DA.

We will work with the FCA to determine all applications within the earlier of six months of receiving a complete application or twelve months of receiving an incomplete application.

If the application is granted, we will send a written notice to the firm. If the application is not successful and us and/or the FCA propose to refuse it, we will inform the applicant about the various options for contesting the decision.

If at any time during the authorisation process the applicant wishes to withdraw its application, it may do so. The application fee is not refundable.

  • 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 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. 

    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 03 June 2024