WASHINGTON - Nat Wienecke, senior vice president, federal government relations at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) issued the following statement encouraging support for H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017.
“PCI strongly supports H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 and encourages Congress to support and pass the legislation,” said Wienecke.
For over 160 years, state-based insurance regulation has governed the largest, most competitive and financially strong insurance market in the world. “Congress generally preserved state-based insurance regulation in the Dodd-Frank Act, but there have been many unintended consequences of federal agency regulatory overreach in its implementation that the Financial CHOICE Act would address,” continued Wienecke.
“PCI is particularly pleased that the bill eliminates the Federal Insurance Office and limits its authority as it is merged with the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s independent insurance expert into a new independent insurance advocate,” continued Wienecke. The Federal Insurance Office’s (FIO) duplicative and counterproductive intrusions into domestic state regulation would be curtailed, while the Financial CHOICE Act assures the successor office would conduct closer coordination with state regulators who continue to be the primary regulators for insurance. “PCI encourages the House Financial Services Committee to consider additional legislation to further eliminate FIO’s interference with state regulation and focus its international leadership on behalf of the United States system,” said Wienecke.
“PCI also appreciates and strongly supports the Financial CHOICE Act’s elimination of nonbank systemically important financial designations that create unnecessary costs burdens and reduce competition with no consumer benefits,” Wienecke said. Congress created the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to identify and reduce risk. FSOC has selectively targeted large state regulated insurers for designations to vastly expand federal regulatory involvement in insurance in violation of its own rules and due process. “Instead of imposing ill-targeted federal bank regulations on large insurers to duplicate state insurance supervision, FSOC should work with state insurance regulators and other financial regulators to identify and mitigate and reduce systemically risky activities,” continued Wienecke.
“PCI encourages support for the Financial CHOICE Act to protect consumer-focused state-based insurance regulation from further federal encroachment. We look forward to working with members of Congress on these issues as the legislative process advances,” concluded Wienecke.