Structural reform approvals

The large UK banks that are required to carry out structural reform need to apply to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) for some permissions.

Ring-fencing transfer schemes

The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 legislated for a process for transfer of business known as a ring-fencing transfer scheme (RFTS). This will enable firms to restructure their businesses to comply with the ring-fencing requirements that will apply from 1 January 2019.
PRA Statement of Policy: The implementation of ring-fencing: the PRA’s approach to ring-fencing transfer schemes.

Skilled persons for ring-fencing transfer schemes

As part of the ring-fencing transfer scheme process, firms must appoint a ‘skilled person’ to prepare a scheme report. A skilled person is someone who we judge to have the skills necessary for making a proper report.

Firms carrying out a ring-fencing transfer scheme should apply to the PRA for approval of their nominated skilled person. The application should be countersigned by the nominee.

RFTS: skilled person application form     PDFDownload PDF
 RFTS: notes for skilled person applications    PDFDownload PDF

Send your completed form to transferschemes@bankofengland.co.uk. You can also use this email address if you have any questions about your application. We will consult with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) before we make our decision.

Indirect access to inter-bank payment systems

Ring-fenced bodies (RFBs) are prohibited from entering into any transaction that requires the use of services provided through an inter-bank payment system unless it is a direct participant in the payment system. If it is not, it can apply to the PRA for permission to access the payment system through an intermediary. This condition is set out in Article 13 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Excluded Activities and Prohibitions) Order 2014.

The law only allows us grant permission for a ring-fenced body to access a payment system through an intermediary under exceptional circumstances. These may include:

  • Where being a direct participant in the system would result in a disproportionate level of cost, risk or other burden for the ring-fenced body, its customers or the system, having regard to the PRA’s general safety and soundness objective in relation to ring-fencing under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
  • Where a ring-fenced body is not a direct participant in the system and joining the system during a particular period would result in a level of cost, risk or other burden for the RFB, its customers or the inter-bank payment system significantly greater than would be the case if it becomes a direct participant at a later planned specified date. We must also agree that granting permission is consistent with our general safety and soundness objective in relation to ring-fencing.

A ring-fenced body must also show that us granting the application would result in it continuing to be able to operate in a way consistent with the group ring-fencing purposes and not adversely affecting our ability to meet our general safety and soundness objective in relation to ring-fencing.

Further information and examples of relevant 'exceptional circumstances' can be found in Ring-fenced bodies - Supervisory Statement 8/16.

How to apply for permission

Ring-fenced bodies should submit their applications to us for approval:

 Indirect participation in inter-bank payment systems: application form     PDFDownload PDF
 Indirect participation in inter-bank payment systems: notes for applications    PDFDownload PDF

Send your completed form to paymentsystems@bankofengland.co.uk. You can also use this email address if you have any questions about your application.

This page was last updated 04 December 2017
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