Banks, credit unions and insurers

If you're one of these firms, find out what you need to do before you apply for authorisation on the PRA website.

Banks, credit unions and insurers must be authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and submit their application for authorisation via the PRA website.

We regulate these firms with the PRA, and the PRA won't authorise your firm until we've provided consent. You will have to show that you meet our minimum standards – known as our threshold conditions.

You will also have to comply with our principles and our rules about systems and controls.

What to read before applying

Start by reading Our Approach to Authorisation and our page on being ready, willing and organised. This will help you understand our expectations of applicants.

Then review the following modules in our Handbook:

Preparing your application

You'll need to complete:

  • a PRA application form and read the accompanying guidance notes – there are separate forms and notes for banks, credit unions and insurers on the PRA website
  • a business plan – see our guidance below
  • an IT self-assessment questionnaire – this will help you determine whether you need to fill in the IT controls form, detailed IT controls form, or neither form

Avoid delays to the process

Many factors could delay the application process, so follow this advice to ensure your application goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Be prepared

Make sure your application has no incomplete or missing forms. If you submit a poor quality application it could be rejected.

Where required, documentation should be signed, with passwords provided if files are password protected.

Ensure that the technology or systems you will be using are ready to carry out the applied-for regulated activities and that you can provide evidence of how these will operate to support your business.

Be clear

Your application may be delayed if you have a generic business plan which excludes conduct considerations relevant to your application, such as your target market or how your products and services will be distributed.

Here are somethings to include within your business plan:

Objectives and customers

  • full explanation of your business, its background (including its legal structure and creation) and what it will do
  • objectives (eg business opportunity, market share, aims, assets under management)
  • target market, key customers, distribution, products and pricing
  • marketing strategy
  • experience your customer will have of your business from day 1
  • key dependencies and business risks

People and governance

  • details of your intended investment strategies, fee and remuneration policies, governance framework and key personnel
  • experience your firm's principals have in the regulated activities you want to carry on
  • employment background, experience and relevant qualifications of each person performing a controlled or senior management function and how this will help them
  • analysis of key conduct risks

Plans and projections

  • long-term strategy and expansion plans
  • outsourcing plans or other key operational matters
  • financial projections for the next 3 to 5 years

Your application should also explain your firm's specific activities and how these align with the permissions you're applying for.

You will also need to clearly explain how and why individuals in key roles at your firm were selected, based on their qualifications or relevant experience, as well as how they will be able to fulfil their roles particularly if they are based overseas or have other group responsibilities.

It's important that you identify any conduct risks and potential harms to consumer and/or markets posed by your proposed business and explain how you intend to manage or mitigate them.

Be compliant

You must be open and cooperative with us (Principle 11) and provide responses within the requested dates.

Your application must make clear what compliance arrangements will be in place to meet your firm’s ongoing regulatory obligations.

Where your firm intends to enter into outsourcing agreements these should be clearly set out and explain how they will be overseen.

If you need more help

Please contact us on 0300 500 0597. We're open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9am to 5pm, and Thursday 9.45am to 5pm.

Page updates

19/05/2021: Link changed IT self-assessment questionnaire
29/04/2021: Information changed Change of page title and content to focus on banks, credit unions and insurers