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Regulation and Compliance > State Regulation

Spitzer Takes On Empire State Regs

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New York has formed a group to look into whether the state’s financial services firms might be overregulated.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat renowned for being tough on insurers and other financial service firms while he was the state’s attorney general, now says current laws and regulations in New York may be too restrictive.

Spitzer has signed an order creating the New York State Commission to Modernize the Regulation of Financial Services. The commission is supposed to identify ways for the state to “bring its regulatory structure into the 21st century.”

The committee will examine how updated technology and procedures could help New York keep its status as a world financial capital, officials say.

In New York, regulators in the insurance, banking and state departments split jurisdiction over financial services firms with regulators in the state attorney general’s office, says New York State Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo, who will chair the new commission.

The state’s regulatory regime has failed to change to reflect the growing similarity in financial services companies’ products, financial structures and risk management strategies, Dinallo says.

The members of the new New York commission’s board include Herbert Allison Jr., chairman of TIAA-CREF, New York; Christopher Condron, chairman of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York; C. Robert Henrikson, chairman of MetLife Inc., New York; and Martin Sullivan, chief executive of American International Group Inc., New York.