4. Engage with the appropriate bodies


There are a variety of organisations that you may need to engage with to obtain what you need to move forward with your business proposition.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)
If you need to obtain authorisation or licences to operate, you will need to engage with the FCA and PRA

Since the FCA and PRA were established on 1 April 2013, banks are dual-regulated by the FCA for the way they conduct their business and by the PRA for prudential requirements (such as capital and liquidity). To become a bank, a single application must be made to the PRA, the lead regulator for banks. This will be assessed through a collaborative process; from a prudential perspective by the PRA, and from a conduct perspective by the FCA, against the threshold conditions of the respective regulators. 

Please see '2. Research your obligations and options' for more information.

Payment schemes
Depending on the payment systems you need access to, you may need to engage directly with one or more payment schemes to discuss their products and services and whether it would be appropriate for your organisation to access the services you require by becoming a scheme member. A payment scheme will also be able to advise you on the access criteria your organisation will need to meet should you decide that payment scheme membership is your preferred access option

You may also wish to download a free copy of “On-boarding to UK Interbank Schemes”1. This useful up-to-date guide provides an overview of the “Discovery” phase which is where initial contact is made with the scheme and is designed to help you to decide which schemes you are interest in joining. 

The “Payment Scheme Documents” provides website links for additional guidance and details of the documentation required to on-board to a Payment Scheme. 

Sponsor organisations
You may also wish to approach one or more of the organisations who offer access to the payment systems via a commercial arrangement to explore the services they offer and see if it’s more appropriate to access services via a sponsored service.

The Bank of England
If you need settlement services via a reserve or settlement account you will need to engage with the Bank of England to apply for this service. Please see '2. Research your obligations and options' for more infiormation. 

1On-boarding to Interbank Payment Schemes has been produced and published collaboratively by the UK Payment Systems Operators: Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), CHAPS, Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, Faster Payments and LINK