UK financial regulators, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have launched the ‘New Bank Start-up’, to assist newly authorised banks and those thinking of becoming a new bank.

The New Bank Start-up unit will provide these companies 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 unit will provide named case officers for firms during the authorisation process at both the PRA and the FCA.

According to the FCA, 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 non-executive directors; invitations to events, alongside other firms, on key regulatory topics.

Andrew Bailey, deputy governor, prudential regulation, Bank of England and chief executive officer of the PRA 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.

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"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 chief executive officer 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: "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."