A Senate mortgage bill amendment could create a Financial Markets Commission that would study the relationship between insurance and other financial services.
Members of the Senate voted 92-4 Wednesday to approve Amendment 995 to S. 386, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, a mortgage bill.
The amendment, introduced by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., would create a commission that would come up with a comprehensive financial services report.
Topics covered would include credit ratings, the risk posed by financial institutions that are too big to fail, and “affiliations between insured depository institutions and securities, insurance and other types of nonbanking activities,” according to the amendment text.
The commission would have a budget of $5 million and 10 members, with the members appointed by congressional leaders. None of the members could be a member of Congress or a state or federal government official.
The commission would deliver its report Dec. 15, 2010.
Isakson has introduced a version of the provision as S. 298. The bill was referred in January to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
The text of Amendment 995 starts here, on page S4591 of the April 22 editon of the Congressional Record.
The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, is welcoming the amendment to the bill.
“The amendment reflects what we have been saying all along: That insurance is systemically important to the nation’s economy and interacts with other financial service providers — banks and investment firms — in increasingly complex and global transactions,” ACLI spokesman Steven Brostoff says in a statement. “The federal government has to develop expertise in insurance regulation and the capacity to monitor the insurance marketplace and its relationship with banking and investments. Congress should move ahead expeditiously on insurance regulatory reform that includes establishment of a federal insurance regulatory option.”