Name-calling starts over optional federal charter and SMART
A rift has erupted between two financial services trade groups over how best to modernize the insurance regulatory system.
In a June 21 statement, the Optional Federal Charter Coalition voiced “disappointment” and called “inaccurate” the reaction of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America to a letter the OFCC sent to the Senate Banking Committee on June 13. (See NU, June 20.)
The OFCC letter, signed by 135 financial services companies, said the current insurance regulatory system is broken, and the most appropriate way to deal with it is to provide companies with an option to have a federal insurance charter.
The letter sent by the “Big I” in response said an optional federal charter was unnecessary and that legislation now being drafted by the House Financial Services Committee creating so-called federal standards for insurance regulation was more appropriate. The House bill is called SMART, for the State Modernization and Regulatory Transparency Act. It is expected to be introduced before Congress leaves for a month’s summer recess July 29.
It is being drafted by the Republican leadership of the committee, headed by Reps. Mike Oxley, R-Ohio, chairman, and Richard Baker, R-La., chairman of the Capital Markets Subcommittee.
In responding to the latest OFCC statement June 21, the Big I denied any inaccuracies.