PRA Rulebook - FAQs


This FAQ guide is split into two sections:

  1.  About the PRA Rulebook
  2. Using the PRA Rulebook

For questions that are not covered within this guide, please contact PRA Firm Enquiries at 020 3461 7000, or use the Contact the PRA page.


About the PRA Rulebook

What is it?

The PRA Rulebook contains the rules made and enforced by the PRA under powers conferred by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA).

Who should read it?

The Rulebook applies to all PRA-authorised persons and certain unauthorized persons and contains the applicable prudential requirements for PRA-regulated firms. It should be read by PRA-regulated firms and persons.

How is it structured?

There are four main Sectors, which are each divided into separate Parts. Firms should choose the Sector appropriate to them to see the rules relevant to their type of firm. A description of each Sector can be viewed by clicking on the icons under each Sector on the Rulebook homepage.

Firms that accept deposits are split into two sub-sectors detailing firms to whom EU directives and regulations apply and those for which they don’t: 

Capital Requirements Firms (i.e. CRDIV, MIFID, FICOD);

Non-Capital Requirements Firms (e.g., Credit Unions);

Insurance firms are also split into two sectors: 

Solvency Requirements Firms (i.e. SII, FICOD);

Non-Solvency Requirements Firms.

The final sector sets out rules applicable to non-authorised persons such as auditors.

Under each Sector, rules are set out in topic-specific Parts. Some Parts that are applicable across several Sectors are replicated in the appropriate Sectors, which is noted in the panel on the right side of each Part.

How has it evolved?

At legal cutover, the former Financial Services Authority (FSA) Handbook was split into the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Handbook and the PRA Handbook. Between 2013 and 2016, the PRA Handbook was fully rewritten into its current form, the PRA Rulebook. All guidance was deleted but retained, where applicable, in relevant PRA supervisory statements and webpages. The rules were rewritten in clear and concise language and restructured under the Sector format.

Firms were engaged in the Rulebook project through three consultation papers and input from the PRA’s Practitioner Panel.

How can I access the archived PRA Handbook?

To access PRA Handbook modules in force prior to 29/8/2015, return to the homepage, and select the desired date using the time-travel function at the top left of the screen.

How is it different from the FCA Handbook?

Both the PRA and the FCA, as two separate regulators, have their own rules and approach. The PRA Rulebook and the FCA Handbook contains only rules and guidance created by the respective institution; cross-reference occurs where appropriate.

How is it different from EU directives or regulations?

Relevant EU Directives are implemented in the United Kingdom through legally binding PRA rules. Relevant EU Regulations, including binding Technical Standards that apply directly to UK firms, will not be reproduced in the PRA’s Rulebook but will be part of the PRA’s requirements of firms. Firms are also subject to guidance issued by the European supervisory authorities. Where the PRA issues rules in areas not covered by EU law, it aims to do so in a manner which is clear about the intended outcome, straightforward to understand and as concise as possible to achieve this.

What rules underpin the PRA Rulebook?

Authorised firms must ensure they meet the PRA’s and FCA’s Threshold Conditions at all times in order to carry out regulated activities. Please refer to the Threshold Conditions for further information.

In addition to the Threshold Conditions, there are eight PRA Fundamental Rules. These are high-level rules that collectively act as an expression of the PRA’s general objective to promote the safety and soundness of regulated firms. They apply proportionately to all PRA-regulated firms, taking into account the differences between sectors and between sizes of firms.  The Fundamental Rules only apply on a limited basis to passporting EEA firms. In particular, they only apply to the extent that their home state regulator is not responsible for the matter under EU legislation.

How can I find out when the Rulebook has been updated?

Recent changes to the Rulebook are detailed on the What’s new page. It is also possible to subscribe to alerts on the Bank of England page. An email notification will be sent when new data or information is published to the Bank website.

The PRA also publishes the PRA Regulatory Digest, which is a monthly newsletter highlighting key regulatory news and publication releases over the month.

Does the Rulebook contain guidance relating to a rule?

The Rulebook only contains rules. The Related Links sidebar for each Part contains links to relevant documents, webpages, and guidance, which may include supervisory statements. It will also include the relevant policy statements and consultation papers for the rules. Firms may find these useful to read alongside the relevant Part in the Rulebook. 

Does the PRA Rulebook contain forms?

Yes. They can be found on the Forms page, or linked from the relevant Part.

What are Legal Instruments?

Section 138G of FSMA requires the PRA to exercise its rule-making powers in writing, in a document FSMA calls a ‘rule-making instrument’, and to make all such instruments available. The consolidated Rulebook text combines all extant rule instruments to create a readable view of the Rulebook for firms. Although the online Rulebook will contain the most accessible version of the PRA’s rules which will be consolidated on a regular basis, the definitive rules are always contained in the PRA's rule-making instruments, and those should be used if there is a discrepancy.

Legal instruments pertaining to a particular Part can be viewed by clicking on ‘Legal instruments that have changed this part’ on the right side of the page for the Part. Legal instruments can be found via the Legal Instruments page, or via the Bank of England’s Publications page.

What is the central Rulebook Glossary?

The Glossary contains defined terms used in more than one Part. Defined terms are rendered in italics, and will show the definition of the term when clicked on.  If a term is defined in both the Glossary and within a particular Part, the definition in the Part will apply within that Part; the definition in the Glossary will apply to the rest of the Rulebook.

How are Parts structured?

All Parts begin with an application provision which specifies to which firms the provisions within that Part apply. The Part will then specify any defined terms that are used in that Part, in addition to those terms defined in the central Glossary. Rules will be set out in the following Chapter(s). Information on the right side of the page sets out if the Part is replicated in more than one sector, contains a link to see the legal instruments that have amended that Part, and shows links relevant to that Part in the Related Links.

How can I tell which Parts within a Sector apply to me?

Application provisions in the first Chapter of each Part explain the type of firm or person to which a Part or Chapter applies. General application provisions may apply to all firms or specify the subset of firms to which the rules within a Part apply. Application provisions always stay on the top of the screen to enable the user to see the firm or persons to which the rules being viewed apply.

Does the PRA offer the full Rulebook in hardcopy?

No, the Rulebook is designed to be accessed online. However, firms can print or download a PDF of full Parts or Sectors by using the icons at the top right of the relevant page.

What is the PRA’s policy on reproduction of consolidated Rulebook content?

Please see the Terms of Use page and contact the PRA via the Contact the PRA page for licensing information. 


Using the PRA Rulebook

How to use the ‘time-travel’ feature

The ‘time-travel’ function allows users to view the rules that were, or shall be, in force at a given date:

Select the required date under ‘View Rulebook as at:’ on the upper left of the Rulebook home page.

How to use the ‘What’s new’ page

The What’s new page displays new rule instruments from the current year.  Users should select the relevant Sector from the list provided. The latest instruments are displayed by Sector, and colour coded to indicate whether they are currently in force. This page can be filtered by year.

How to use the ‘Legal Instruments’ page

The Legal Instruments page shows a list of legal instruments that have been made by the PRA. The latest instruments are displayed by Sector, and colour coded to indicate whether they are currently in force. Alternatively, it is possible to view legal instruments for a particular Part by selecting ‘Legal instruments that have changed this Part’ when in the desired Part.

How can I use the advanced search function?

Through the PRA Rulebook’s search function, it is possible to filter search results by Sector, location in the Rulebook, and effective date. These can be selected on the left side of the page after searching. Please note that if you search for a term after you’ve already entered a specific Sector, the Rulebook will automatically limit search results to that particular Sector. 

How can I print or PDF a Part?

 Print PDF

When the desired Part is opened, the above icons will appear in the upper right hand side of the page. Icons from left to right: PDF, Print, Email as attachment.

How can I print or PDF a Sector?

 Print PDF

When the desired Sector is opened, the above icons will appear in the upper right hand side of the page. Icons from left to right: PDF, Print, Email as attachment.

How can I get help with the Rulebook?

Contact the PRA via the Contact the PRA page. Please include either the name of the Part(s) relevant to your question, or a link to the relevant page.