UK Recovery Resolution Directive: key elements

See the 3 key elements that make up the Recovery Resolution Directive (RRD): preparation, early intervention and resolution.


To prepare for situations that could lead to financial stress or failure, 2 plans must be drawn up. These plans should detail how such situations would be dealt with if they were to arise.

  • Recovery plan: firms must submit a recovery plan to their competent authority. The plan will then be reviewed by that authority.
  • Resolution plan: the resolution authority will draw up a resolution plan for each firm, based on information that firms must provide.

If the authorities identify obstacles to resolvability during this planning process, they can tell a firm to take appropriate measures, such as making changes to their corporate or legal structure.

Early intervention

A firm is deemed to face financial distress if it's in breach of, or is about to breach, certain requirements (referred to as ‘triggers’). In this situation, the competent authority may intervene. It has a choice of what action to take, including:

  • replacing the firm’s management
  • requiring the firm to draw up an action plan to mitigate the problems
  • implementing part, or all, of the firm’s recovery plan, and
  • moving the firm into the resolution phase


If a firm is failing or likely to fail and there is no reasonable prospect of alternative private sector recovery measures, the resolution authority must decide whether to use its tools and powers. Resolution tools at its disposal include:

  • selling or merging the business with another firm
  • setting up a temporary bridge bank
  • transferring the assets to a separate vehicle, and
  • writing down and converting the liabilities (bail-in) 

Figure 1:  the 3 phases, the authorities responsible and the tools or powers available.

View full sized diagram.

Key: CA – competent authority; RA – resolution authority.

The diagram does not contain an exhaustive list of requirements or tools available, it is merely illustrative.

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