On 3 September 2018, the PRA published its Regulatory Digest for August 2018. The publication highlights key regulatory news and publications delivered for the month.

Among other things, the digest gives the information that a new insurers start-up unit NISU was launched jointly by the PRA and the FCA on 17 August 2018. A webpage on the NISU has also been published. This says that the NISU is part of the regulators' ongoing work to improve the authorisation process for prospective new insurers in the UK. The regulators want the process, information and materials to be helpful for potential applicants so that they can have an effective and efficient way of working together and lead to an improved quality of application when the time comes.

The PRA and the FCA have published a guide to the NISU, which includes four sections on the stages involved in becoming an insurer in the UK:

  • early stages: this section goes through the basics, including whether setting up an insurer is the right thing for the potential applicant and what the alternatives might be;
  • pre-application: this section includes details of the pre-application meetings which, in the regulators' experience, have been helpful to both sides as they share their expectations to facilitating submission of an application that is as complete as possible;
  • application: this section includes information about what the regulators will assess and how long it could take for them to give the applicant a decision; 
  • after authorisation: this section contains information on what regulatory life is like as a new insurer in the UK and what a new insurer can expect in the early days of being supervised and in subsequent years.

A set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the NISU has also been published. The PRA and the FCA say that they will monitor questions that they receive and update the FAQs as needed and will include an update on the NISU webpage.

The PRA and the FCA welcome views from users of the NISU about what is working well and what can be improved. As their consideration of further developments relating to the authorisation of new insurers continues, the PRA and the FCA say that they are also interested to hear views on perceived barriers to entry in the insurance industry and possible measures to address them. Feedback and input should be emailed to NewInsurerStartupUnit@bankofengland.co.uk.