Supervision: Credit unions

We regulate around 430 UK credit unions. 

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.

Latest updates

September 2020: we emailed Category 5 credit unions with the findings of the 2020 assessment. Credit unions received one of two letters, depending on which peer group they fell into (please see below).

8 April 2020: We have sent a letter to all PRA-regulated credit unions inviting them to consent to a modification of Rule 3.11 of the Credit Unions Part of the PRA Rulebook in accordance with the direction available on the Waivers and modification of rules page

13 March 2020: We published PS6/20 ‘Credit unions: Review of the capital regime’, relevant to all UK credit unions. These updates will take effect from Monday 16 March 2020.

Registration, authorisation and approvals

Credit unions need to apply to us for authorisation and approvals (including the Senior Managers Regime), and they also need to register with the Financial Conduct Authority before they can offer financial services.

New firm authorisations 

Senior Managers Regime forms and notes

Credit unions may submit paper forms to the Prudential Regulation Authority and these should be sent to Authorisations Division, Prudential Regulation Authority, 20 Moorgate, London EC2R 6DA.

The following forms can be found on the Senior Managers Regime page:
  • Application to perform controlled functions under the Senior Managers Regime.
  • Notice to withdraw an application to perform controlled functions under the Senior Managers Regime.
  • Notice of ceasing to perform controlled functions.
  • Notification of changes in personal information or application details.
  • Statement of Responsibilities.

If you require further information, contact the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) Firm Enquiries Team on:
Phone: 020 3461 7000 (operating hours 10am-12pm)

Rules and legislation for credit unions

The rules and legislation applying to credit unions are available in the following publications:

Our rules and expectations

Core legislation for credit unions

For credit unions in Great Britain:

For credit unions in Northern Ireland:

Depositor protection and credit unions

The rules for deposit takers (i.e. banks, building societies and credit unions) and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) ensure that eligible depositors (including individuals and businesses) will be compensated up to £85,000 if a deposit taker fails.

The Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive (DGSD) requires deposit guarantee schemes (i.e. the FSCS in the UK) to pay compensation to depositors in respect of covered deposits within 15 business days of the default of a deposit taker. By 2024 this will be reduced to seven days.

A key element in being able to compensate depositors quickly is the requirement for deposit takers to maintain a single customer view (SCV) and exclusions file, and to be able to provide them to the PRA or FSCS on request within 24 hours. Both files provide the FSCS with the information required to make a payout, with a target of seven days from default for most depositors and in any event within the timeframes prescribed by the DGSD.

Since the SCV requirements were introduced, there have been a small number of deposit taker defaults. In each instance, by utilising the SCV, the FSCS has been able to make payments to most eligible depositors in less than seven days.

Single customer view (SCV) requirements and guidance

SCV requirements are set out in the depositor protection part of the PRA Rulebook.

More information on the SCV is available in Chapter 8 of Depositor and dormant account protection - Supervisory Statement 18/15. Firms may also find the FSCS’s SCV guide useful when considering deposit protection issues.

Some of the requirements are summarised below. However, credit unions should refer to the PRA Rulebook and relevant supervisory statement for full details.

Exclusions file

The requirements for the exclusions file are also set out in the depositor protection part of the PRA Rulebook. They have been in force since 1 December 2016. The rules require deposit takers to provide this information in the same format and to the same timeframe as the SCV file.

The exclusions file will contain those accounts which contain or may contain eligible deposits to which the account holder is not absolutely entitled or accounts that might be inactive (e.g. beneficiary legally dormant, and legally disputed accounts).

Material changes to SCV systems

Credit unions are required to notify us of any material change to their SCV systems. A material change would include changes that would have a material impact on a firm’s SCV system. For example, there is likely to be a material change in a firm’s SCV system upon a merger or acquisition of a deposit book, or the introduction of a new IT system that relates to the firm’s SCV system.

SCV electronic reporting

All credit unions are subject to electronic reporting of SCV.

Dormant accounts

Some credit unions mark accounts as inactive/dormant after a period of inactivity. For the avoidance of doubt, any account that does not meet the legal definition of dormancy as defined in section 10 of the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008 must appear on the SCV file. Legally dormant accounts are accounts that meet the specific definition of being inactive for 15 years – meaning that there has been no customer-initiated transaction in the last 15 years. Such legally dormant accounts must instead be included in the credit union’s exclusions file that accompanies its SCV file.

Newly authorised credit unions

We will contact newly authorised credit unions and expect them to undergo FSCS verification within six months of receiving their Part 4A permissions to accept deposits.

Ongoing SCV verification

As part of the ongoing work relating to SCV for credit unions, we have committed to a continuous review of a sample of credit unions’ SCV files as part of our usual supervisory work. The process will start with a request for the submission of a SCV effectiveness report and marking effectiveness report. This may be followed by a request for your SCV file from the FSCS. Credit unions will then receive feedback from the FSCS on the usability and quality of their SCV file and SCV policies and procedures. 

Further information and contact us

Further information

PRA annual assessment of the credit union sector.

Please see The National Archives for any relevant material not available on this page.

Contact us

If you have any questions about how we regulate credit unions, contact Firm Enquiries on +44 (0) 20 3461 7000 or email

This page was last updated 09 September 2020

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