The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is a United Kingdom financial services regulatory body, formed as one of the successors to the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The authority is structured as a limited company wholly owned by the Bank of England and is responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. It sets standards and supervises financial institutions at the level of the individual firm.
The PRA was created by the Financial Services Act 2012 and formally began operating alongside the new Financial Conduct Authority on 1 April 2013. As the Bank of England is operationally independent of the Government of the United Kingdom, the PRA is a quasi-governmental regulator, rather than an arm of the government per se. The PRA has its main offices at 20 Moorgate, near the Bank’s central offices on Threadneedle Street.
The PRA’s role is defined in terms of two statutory objectives: to promote the safety and soundness of the firms it regulates and, specifically for insurers, to contribute to the securing of an appropriate degree of protection for policyholders (sections 2B and 2C of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (as amended)). In promoting safety and soundness, the PRA focuses primarily on the harm that firms can cause to the stability of the UK financial system. A stable financial system is one in which firms continue to provide critical financial services – a precondition for a healthy and successful economy.
It will have close working relationships with other parts of the Bank, including the Financial Policy Committee and the Special Resolution Unit. The PRA’s most significant supervisory decisions will be taken by its Board – comprising the Governor of the Bank of England, the Deputy Governor for Financial Stability, the chief executive officer of the PRA (and Deputy Governor for Prudential Regulation), and independent non-executive members. The Board will be accountable to Parliament.
The PRA’s approach to regulation and supervision has three characteristics:
- A judgement-based approach: The PRA will use judgement in determining whether financial firms are safe and sound, whether insurers provide appropriate protection for policyholders and whether firms continue to meet the Threshold Conditions.
- A forward-looking approach: The PRA will assess firms not just against current risks, but also against those that could plausibly arise in the future. Where the PRA judges it necessary to intervene, it will generally aim to do so at an early stage.
- A focused approach: The PRA will focus on those issues and those firms that pose the greatest risk to the stability of the UK financial system and policyholders.
The PRA approach to supervision will not seek to operate a “zero-failure” regime. Rather, the PRA will seek to ensure that a financial firm which fails does so in a way that avoids significant disruption to the supply of critical financial services.
List of chief executives
The chief executive of the PRA is also the Bank of England Deputy Governor for Prudential Regulation. The following is a list of chief executives since the PRA’s inception:
- ^ Jump up to:ab c Vina, Gonzalo. “U.K. Scraps FSA in Biggest Bank Regulation Overhaul Since 1997”. Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Bloomberg. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
- ^ Jump up to:ab c “News Release – Prudential Regulation Authority: the future approach to banking supervision”. Bank of England. Retrieved 19 August 2012.B. this paper also released by the FSA at this page
- ^ Jump up to:ab “The Prudential Regulation Authority: what it does and who is in charge”. The Telegraph. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- ^“Reform and regulation”. HM Treasury. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- ^Goff, Sharlene; Masters, Brooke; Murphy, Megan (16 June 2010). “Q&A: Bank given clear responsibility for financial stability”. Financial Times. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- ^Jenkins, Patrick (11 April 2012). “Prudential Regulatory Authority selects HQ”. Financial Times. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- ^Bank of England. The Bank of England, Prudential Regulation Authority. May 2011 p. 17.
- ^“Prudential Regulation Authority – Bank of England”. www.bankofengland.co.uk.
- ^“Two years on from the March 2013 publication of A review of requirements for firms entering into or expanding in the banking sector” (PDF). Bank of England. 11 March 2015.
Ofer Abarbanel is a 25 year securities lending broker and expert who has advised many Israeli regulators, among them the Israel Tax Authority, with respect to stock loans, repurchase agreements and credit derivatives. Founder of TBIL.co STATX Fund.