Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Wednesday that the Bush administration will think very carefully about the possibility of letting insurers choose between state and federal oversight.
Paulson talked about the topic during a Senate Banking Committee hearing that focused mainly on U.S. international competitiveness and U.S. relations with China.
The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, and a number of other insurer groups have supported the idea of giving insurers an option to adopt a federal charter and come under the jurisdiction of a new federal insurance regulatory agency, rather than remaining under the jurisdiction of state insurance regulators.
“Although we don’t have a clear position yet on the optional federal charter, I personally think it’s got a lot of merit,” Paulson said in response to questions at the Senate Banking Committee hearing.
Frank Keating, president of the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, praised Paulson’s comments.
“While we’re committed to working with the states to improve the state-based system, we feel the optional federal charter is an essential component of a modern regulatory system, given the increasing national and global nature of our business,” Keating said.