WASHINGTON BUREAU — John Huff – the state insurance regulators’ representative on the new Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) — today told a congressional panel that he wants the FSOC to let him discuss confidential FSOC matters with other state insurance regulators.
Huff, the Missouri insurance director, and Susan Voss, the Iowa insurance commissioner and president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Kansas City, Mo., appeared at a hearing on insurance oversight organized by the Insurance, Housing and Community Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee.
The NAIC has appointed Huff to serve as its non-voting representative on the FSOC.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 created the FSOC to help federal financial services regulators track trends and events that could threaten the stability of the U.S. financial system.
Huff has complained in the past that the FSOC does not allow him to discuss confidential FSOC matters with other insurance regulators, and brought up that issue at the hearing.
“[I am] still unable to communicate with my fellow commissioners on a confidential basis regarding the matters under consideration by the FSOC that portend changes to our regulatory process and that could impact insurers and state insurance markets,” Huff said.
The ability of state insurance regulators to provide input regarding FSOC’s important work “remains extremely limited,” Huff said.
Huff said the FSOC might be able to compromise by letting him talk about confidential issues with a
small group of designated regulators representing the needs of different regions and different markets.
“I firmly believe that such consultation will be vitally important in the coming months as the FSOC determines the criteria to be used to identify systemically important non-bank firms and evaluates firms for such designations.” Huff said. “In the event that any insurers are designated, the ability of the FSOC to receive advice and counsel from my fellow insurance regulators who are involved in the day-to-day regulation of such companies will be critical.”