Missouri Bill Gives Securities Regulator
Authority Over Variable Products
Missouri legislators are considering a bill that would put variable products under the purview of both insurance and securities regulators, a move that is being opposed by insurers and agents.
In the past, similar legislation has been introduced in Kansas but has not been successful.
Currently, insurance regulators have exclusive right to regulate variable products at the state level in 48 jurisdictions, according to the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington.
The Missouri bill, H.B. 1665, was voted out of the House Financial Services committee on April 2 in an 11-8 vote and now will be addressed by the full House. It currently has the support of Governor Bob Holden, Secretary of State Matt Blunt and Speaker of the House Catherine Hanaway.
In a statement on the issue, Blunts office said the bill is needed because currently there is an exclusion from state enforcement of investor protection laws. Rather than have the state insurance department develop standards, Blunt says it would be more efficient to use current staff and expertise at the securities division.
During a hearing on the issue, Carl Wilkerson, ACLI vice president and chief counsel-securities litigation, was among those who testified before legislators.