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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Insurance SIFI Designations Concern Congress Members

Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and six other members of congress wrote to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew expressing concerns over the apparent lack of empirical analysis leading up to the designation of insurance companies as Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs). The members of congress note that there is a stark contrast between the treatment of the asset management industry and the insurance industry with regard to the research and analysis leading up to the SIFI designation. More specifically, the members of congress state that, before additional insurance companies are designated as SIFIs, Secretary Lew should:

  • Direct the OFR to act on the recommendation to “conduct a detailed study to determine whether and where systemic risk issues may arise in the insurance industry and how such risks are currently handled in the regulatory framework”
  • Hold a public conference on the insurance industry similar to the asset management conference to better understand the unique risks, challenges and business models of insurance companies
  • Direct the FSOC staff to undertake a more focused analysis of industry wide products and activities to assess potential risks associated with the insurance industry

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