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Bills to ease insurer regulatory burdens pass House committee


The House Financial Services Committee has adopted two bills designed to ease regulatory burdens for insurers.

H.R. 3746, the Business of Insurance Regulatory Reform Act of 2017, would amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to exempt from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s enforcement those engaged in the insurance business who are already regulated by a state insurance regulator. The bill, introduced by Reps. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., and Gwen Moore, D-Wis., in September, passed the committee by a 37-18 vote.

The legislation will create certainty for insurers and consumers that there will not be duplicative or conflicting consumer protection regulations in the future, Dirk Kempthorne, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based American Council of Life Insurers, said in a statement Thursday.

“This bipartisan legislation clarifies that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should only exercise regulatory jurisdiction over the business of insurance where it has clear authority from Congress, and that deference should be given to state insurance regulators when it comes to the business of insurance,” he said.

Meanwhile, H.R. 4061, the Financial Stability Oversight Council Improvement Act, would amend the Dodd-Frank Act to require the FSOC, when determining whether to subject a U.S. or a foreign nonbank financial company to supervision by the Federal Reserve, to consider the appropriateness of imposing heightened prudential standards as opposed to other forms of regulation to mitigate identified risks to U.S. financial stability. The bill, introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., in October, passed the committee by a 45-10 vote.

The legislation is based on Section 151 of H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, which was designed to eliminate the ability to tag insurers as “too big to fail.”