The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is a regulatory body in the UK responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers, and designated investment firms. It was established in 2013 as part of the Bank of England and operates under the auspices of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
The primary objective of the PRA is to promote the safety and soundness of financial services institutions in the UK. It seeks to do so by setting standards and supervising firms' risk management and financial resilience, with a focus on maintaining financial stability in the UK. To achieve this objective, the PRA carries out a range of activities, including:
- Authorising and supervising firms: The PRA is responsible for authorising firms to operate in the UK, and it supervises their activities to ensure they are complying with regulatory requirements.
- Setting standards: The PRA sets standards that firms must meet, including capital and liquidity requirements, risk management standards, and governance arrangements.
- Conducting stress tests: The PRA conducts regular stress tests of firms to assess their resilience to different economic scenarios.
- Resolving failing firms: The PRA has powers to intervene and resolve failing firms to protect customers and maintain financial stability.
The PRA's work is guided by a set of principles, including a focus on the safety and soundness of firms, the protection of customers, the promotion of competition, and the maintenance of financial stability. It works closely with other regulatory bodies, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to ensure a coordinated approach to regulation of the financial services sector in the UK.