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UK: New Bank Start-up Unit launched by the financial regulators

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have today launched the New Bank Start-up Unit. The Unit is a joint initiative from the UK’s financial regulators giving information and support to newly authorised banks and those thinking of becoming a new bank in the United Kingdom.

The joint New Bank Start-up Unit will assist new banks to enter the market and through the early days of authorisation. It will draw staff from the PRA and the FCA with a dedicated helpline and email address. It will provide new banks with the information and materials they need to navigate the process to become a new bank, as well as with focused supervisory resource during the early years of authorisation.

The New Bank Start-up Unit will provide named case officers for firms during the authorisation process at both the PRA and the FCA and a greater level of supervisory support during the new bank’s early years after they have been authorised.

New banks will benefit from:
- access to the New Bank Start-up Unit helpline;
- access to supervisors at both the PRA and the FCA via the helpline;
- regular capital and liquidity reviews, if appropriate;
- monthly regulatory update emails;
- invitations to seminars targeted at new and prospective banks and separately banks’ senior management and NEDs; and
- invitations to events, alongside other firms, on key regulatory conduct topics.

Andrew Bailey, Deputy Governor, Prudential Regulation, Bank of England and CEO of the
Prudential Regulation Authority said:

“The New Bank Start-Up Unit builds on the work we have already done to reduce the barriers to entry for prospective banks, which has led to twelve new banks now authorised since April 2013. These new banks are a key part of bringing innovation to the sector, particularly where there is a gap in the market – whether it is the service they provide, the customers they target, the products they sell or the technology they use.

With the launch of the New Bank Start-up Unit, applicants will now benefit from having a single place where they can get the advice and guidance they need to start a new bank and support once they are authorised.”

Tracey McDermott, Acting CEO of the FCA said:

"The New Bank Start-Up Unit will help those who want to start a new bank in the UK navigate the regulatory process. Increasing competition in the banking sector is important for consumers and the new Unit will offer firms an accessible way to find the information they need to get themselves authorised".

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin said:

“A key part of our long term plan is to boost competition in banking, driving the industry to offer the best possible products and services to customers”.

“I’m therefore delighted that the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority have now established a dedicated New Bank Start-up Unit, helping new banks to enter the market and through the early days of authorisation”.

“Building on the three new banks that have already established this Parliament, this unit will help to stimulate even more competition and diversity in Britain’s banking sector.”

Notes to Editors

1. The creation of the unit was originally announced by HM Treasury in its November 2015 paper
“A better deal: boosting competition to bring down bills for families and firms.”
2. See the New Bank Start-up Unit website.
3. The New Bank Start-up Unit helpline is 020 3461 8100 and dedicated email address is NewBankStartupUnit@bankofengland.co.uk
4. March 2013: A review of requirements for firms entering into or expanding in the banking sector
5. July 2014: A review of requirements for firms entering into or expanding in the banking sector: one year on

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