WASHINGTON BUREAU — The New York Times said today in an editorial that Congress should reject legislation creating an optional federal charter for insurance, calling the OFC approach a recipe for “regulator shopping.”
Officials of two life industry trade groups criticized the Times’ view.
The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, says the paper “has it wrong.”
The Financial Services Roundtable, Washington, says the “editorial mirrors misstatements frequently made by business interests” that oppose H.R. 1880, the “National Insurance Consumer Protection Act.”
The bill, introduced by Reps. Melissa Bean, D-Ill., and Ed Royce, R-Calif., would create an optional federal charter.
Advocates of the OFC approach want to let insurers choose between being regulated by state insurance regulators or being regulated by a new federal insurance regulatory system.
The Times editorial refers directly to the Bean-Royce bill, saying the rationale for the proposal “is as meritless as the proposal itself.”
“If the bill were enacted, the race to the regulatory depths would continue, and the nation would be headed in exactly the wrong regulatory direction,” the Times says in the editorial.