Annex 1 to the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) has a list of possible bank activities. A full licence includes all of these activities. A partial licence pertains to a limited number of these activities. If you want to apply for a partial licence, then at least the activities listed under 1 and 2 must be part of your intended activities. These activities include taking deposits and other repayable funds and granting credits on own account.
A partial licence may be an attractive option if a bank does not intend to perform all activities subject to a licence and regulations, or not immediately so. This may be a temporary situation, e.g. because the institution's operational management is not yet equipped to perform all activities. A partial licence may also be permanent, e.g. if the institution is a niche player.
Towards a universal licence
If a partially authorised institution wants to expand its activities, it can apply for a licence for these additional activities only. In this way, institutions can grow towards a universal licence.