Life insurance industry groups are celebrating the idea that Thomas Workman could be the next “member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council with insurance expertise.”
President Donald Trump announced the Workman nomination Wednesday.
Workman, a lawyer, served as president of the Life Insurance Council of New York, a trade group, from 1999 through 2016. He has a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Ohio State University, and he was a captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps from 1970 through 1973.
If confirmed to the FSOC post by the Senate, Workman could be the official with the most ability to talk as a peer with the top U.S. banking and securities regulators.
Workman would succeed Roy Woodall, a former Kentucky insurance commissioner.
Drafters of the Dodd-Frank Act created FSOC in response to the wave of mortgage loan defaults, and the resulting credit default swaps meltdown, that led to the Great Recession.
FSOC is supposed to monitor the entire economy for problems that could hurt the U.S. financial system. It can designate important entities other than banks as “systemically important financial institutions,” or SIFIs. Regulators may then impose extra restrictions and reporting requirements on the SIFIs.
Most of the FSOC members are heads of major federal financial services regulatory bodies, such as the Federal Reserve system.
Because no federal agency oversees insurance, Dodd-Frank drafters created an FSOC seat for a “member with insurance expertise” to give FSOC the ability to identify and understand possible sources of systemic risk related to insurance.