New Bank Start-up Unit

The New Bank Start-up Unit provides information and support for those thinking of setting up a new bank in the UK.

This page was produced before the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The UK has now entered into a transition period, due to end on 31 December 2020, during which EU law will continue to apply. We will update this page at a later date, as appropriate, to reflect the legal and regulatory framework applicable at the end of the transition period.

Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority


The New Bank Start-up Unit is a joint initiative from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Any firm that wants to be a bank (which means carrying on the regulated activity of accepting deposits) must be authorised to do this by the PRA. The PRA will only agree to authorise a firm if the FCA is also content for it to be authorised.

Firms that are EEA banks, and that are seeking authorisation from the PRA as a third country branch, should refer to the dedicated webpages for information on the authorisation of EEA banks and insurers and the temporary permissions regime.

Download our guide to becoming a bank in the UK for everything you need to know about starting a new bank, from the pre-application phase to life after authorisation:

PDFNew Bank Start-up Unit guide 

Latest updates

22 July 2020: We published CP9/20 ‘Non-systemic UK banks: The Prudential Regulation Authority’s approach to new and growing banks’, alongside ‘Climbing mountains safely’ a speech by Sarah Breeden, Executive Director for UK Deposit Takers. 

Update 28 March: Alongside the Bank’s News Release, we published:

New Bank Start-up Unit seminar

PRA and FCA held the NBSU seminar on Tuesday 15 October 2019 – please find the slides below under Seminar slides.

Thinking about becoming a new bank?

Early stages

The Early Stages section goes through the basics, including whether setting up a bank is the right thing for you, and what the alternatives might be.

PDFThinking about becoming a new bank?

What do you need to do to get started?


If you decide that you want to become a bank, you may find the Pre-application section helpful. It includes details of the pre application meetings which, in our experience, have been helpful to both sides as we share our expectations and you can work out what this means for you and your resources. 

PDFWhat do you need to do to get started?

What happens when you apply to become a bank?


You can look ahead to find out what happens when you apply to become a new bank in the Application section. The application section includes information about what we will assess, and how long it could take to give you a decision. It also takes you to an optional stage in the process, called mobilisation.

PDFWhat happens when you apply to become a new bank?

How can you build out your bank with confidence?


The Mobilisation section sets out how you can build out your new bank with confidence. Based on our discussions with you, we may authorise you while you secure further investment, staff and IT, for instance.

PDFHow can you build out your new bank with confidence?

What's life like as a new bank in the United Kingdom?

After authorisation

When you’re fully authorised, you’ll want to know more about what regulatory life is like as a new bank in the United Kingdom. What can you expect in the early days of being supervised, and in subsequent years? Answers to these, and other questions, are set out in the After authorisation section.

PDFWhat's life like as a new bank in the UK?

Contact us

If you have any queries about becoming a new bank email us: (we are available on email from 9am - 5pm) or call 020 3461 8100 (10am - 12noon).

This page was last updated 27 July 2020

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