A new House bill would establish a Financial Product Safety Commission.
The commission would try to help consumers get a fair deal on such products as retirement savings accounts, mortgages and credit cards, according to Reps. William Delahunt, D-Mass., and Brad Miller, D-N.C., the lawmakers who introduced the Financial Product Safety Commission Act.
The bill is similar to S. 566, a bill recently introduced in the Senate by Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Richard Durbin, D-Ill.
It appears to be unlikely that insurance products would be covered under the legislation, because a “savings” clause says the McCarran-Ferguson Act “remains the law of the law of the U.S.”
Lawyers at the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, are still unclear whether the bill applies to insurance, according to ACLI staffer Steven Brostoff.
“We continue to analyze the proposal to determine if it would affect any policies or policy provisions,” Brostoff says.
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va., “is currently studying the scope of the bill,” a NAIFA representative says. “Initially it appears not to cover insurance products. We reserve comment until we have a firm understanding of the full implications of the bill.”
Miller said at a press conference that the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee would likely consider the bill in the next few weeks.
The bill would establish a 5-member independent agency that would have the power to ban abusive or unfair sales practices and financial products.