We supervise banks, building societies, credit unions, major investment firms and insurers to judge whether they are complying with our policies.

Supervisory approach

We are responsible for the prudential regulation of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. We aim through our supervision to develop a rounded, robust and comprehensive view of these firms, to judge whether they are being run in a safe and sound manner, and whether insurers are protecting policyholders appropriately. 

Our approach documents set out how we carry out our role in practice.

The PRA's approach to supervision documents

Regulating smaller firms

We take a different approach to supervising the smaller firms that we regulate, due to their limited potential to cause harm to the financial system.

Credit unions, small overseas banks, small overseas insurers and mutual insurers are our lowest category of potential impact. At an individual level, these firms have little capacity to cause significant harm to the stability of the financial system. They could, however, generate some disruption to the financial system at an aggregate level, in the event of problems across a whole sector.

Additionally, our objectives require us to promote the safety and soundness of all the firms it supervises, and to contribute to securing an appropriate degree of protection for all policyholders. This motivates a baseline level of supervisory monitoring for these firms.

Our approach to supervising smaller firms

Our supervisory approach for smaller firms includes:

  • supervising firms on a portfolio basis using automated tools to analyse your regulatory returns
  • examining individual firms when a risk crystallises (as discovered through, for example, a visit to the firm, or an approach from the firm itself), or in response to authorisation requests from the firm
  • conducting peer group analysis across sectors as a whole, to develop a clear understanding of the risks posed by both small firms in aggregate and by a typical firm
  • conducting annual assessments of these firms, but in large peer groups.

We do not visit smaller firms on a fixed, regular schedule. But all firms, regardless of category, are subject to on-site work by us - with a period of notice - at any time.

View further information and materials for credit unions.

Our rules and expectations for branches are available in Supervising international banks: the PRA's approach to branch supervision - PS8/14.

View further information and materials for run-off firms. 

Contacts for smaller firms

These firms do not have a named supervisor. Instead, they should contact our Firm Enquiries Team at or by phone on +44 (0)20 3461 7000.

Skilled Persons Reviews

A Skilled Persons review is one of the regulatory tools we can employ under FSMA 2000 (as amended by the 2012 Act).

Under FSMA, there are two types of Skilled Persons reviews that we can commission:

  • s166 Reports by Skilled Persons; and
  • s166A Appointment of Skilled Persons to collect and update information.

The ’Use of Skilled Persons’ Part of the PRA Rulebook sets out the PRA's requirements for a Skilled Persons review. Reports by Skilled Persons - SS7/14 sets out our policy on, and expectations for, the use of these powers.

The Skilled Person Panel (see list of Skilled Person Panel suppliers), used for directly commissioned s166 reviews, commenced in April 2022 and will be effective until 31 March 2026. The description of the Lots can be accessed through the Skilled Person Panel Lot descriptions.

Quarterly information

Information on the Skilled Persons reviews commissioned by us is published on a quarterly basis.

PRA Q1 2024/25 skilled persons reviews commissioned

This page was last updated 17 July 2024