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The U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee unanimously passed a bill that would allow the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s independent insurance expert to remain on the council after the end of his or her term if a successor has not been named.
The Financial Stability Oversight Council Insurance Member Continuity Act, which was adopted by the committee by a 60-0 vote on Tuesday, would permit the independent insurance expert to remain on the council until 18 months after the date on which the term of service ends or the date on which a successor to the member is appointed and confirmed, whichever is earlier.
The need for this legislation came to the forefront with the pending expiration of the six-year term of the council’s current insurance expert Roy Woodall in September. The FSOC currently has the power to designate financial institutions, including insurers, as systematically important financial institutions, or SIFIs, which subjects them to heightened capital requirements and reporting rules. But separate legislation aims to revoke the council’s ability to designate these firms as “too big to fail.”
“We applaud the committee’s passage of this bill because it ensures that an individual with expert knowledge of insurance and policyholder issues will maintain a seat at the FSOC table regardless of the political changes in Washington,” Stef Zielezienski, senior vice president and general counsel for the American Insurance Association in Washington, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We thank Mr. Woodall for his continued leadership and urge the House to promptly take up the measure so this common-sense legislation can be considered by the Senate and ultimately sent over to the president.”
A U.S. House of Representatives bill that would eliminate the ability to tag insurers as “too big to fail” and would refocus a federal regulatory agency on international insurance talks is largely positive for the insurance industry, according to experts.