LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has asked Barclays to review its exposure to leveraged finance, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday, part of an industry-wide probe into lenders' exposure to the private equity industry.

The Bank of England in April said very few banks had a clear idea of their "holistic" exposures to private equity, putting them at risk of a "large loss".

Rebecca Jackson, the central bank's executive director for authorisations and international supervision, wrote to bank risk chiefs at that time setting out the standards they should meet in assessing exposure to such risks.

A spokesperson for the PRA declined to comment.

The review takes the form of a so-called section 166 report, the source said, meaning that an independent skilled person will look into the matter.

Regulators worldwide need to examine more closely the $8 trillion global private equity sector, as opaque leverage makes it hard to get a picture of the risks it poses to financial stability, another Bank of England official said in April.

Private Equity funds raise money from big institutional investors to invest in non-public companies, a more opaque form of funding than the public capital markets.

Globally, assets under management in the private equity sector have increased to around $8 trillion in 2023, from about $2 trillion in 2013.

Bloomberg News earlier on Friday reported the Barclays review.

The potential outcomes from the review are unclear, and it is the first of many such reviews the regulator is expected to require of the industry, Bloomberg said.

(Reporting By Lawrence White; Editing by Toby Chopra)