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Senate OKs Bill With Senior Financial Exploitation Reporting Section

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Members of the Senate voted 67-31 Wednesday for S. 2155, a Dodd-Frank Act change bill that includes two sections that could have a direct effect on agents who sell life insurance, annuities, long-term care planning products, and other life, health and annuity products.

(Related: 3 Ways the Senate Dodd-Frank Bill Could Affect Agents)

All Republicans who participated voted for the bill.

Sixteen of the 47 Democrats and independents who participated also voted for the bill.

One provision in S. 2155, which is now designated as Section 2011, would require federal financial services regulators to ”achieve consensus positions with state insurance regulators” before agreeing to international insurance regulation deals. That could, for example, reduce the odds that the United States will apply Europe’s Solvency II financial standards to U.S. life and annuity operations.

Another provision, Section 303, could help insurance agents who want to do something when they think older clients may be the victims of financial abuse. Section 303 would provide immunity against lawsuits and regulatory action for trained financial services professionals who report suspicions of wrongdoing against seniors to regulators or law-enforcement authorities.

The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, also contains many provisions of interest to banks and credit unions and has been described as a Dodd-Frank rollback bill.

The bill now goes to the House. In some cases, Republican House members in the Freedom Caucus have disagreed with the Senate Republicans’ approach, and argued that legislation should do more to change laws and regulations adopted in the past. One sign that S. 2155 could have an easy time getting through the House is that Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., voted for the bill. In the past, the Senate-passed bills that have had the most problems in the House have often been the bills that Paul opposed.

President Donald Trump has said in a statement of administration policy that he hopes to sign the bill. Trump commended the Senate for passing the current version of the bill.

“By tailoring regulation, the bill seeks to prevent excessive regulation from undermining the viability of local and regional banks and their ability to serve their communities,” the White House said in a statement about the Senate vote. “The president looks forward to discussing any further revisions the House is interested in making, with the goal of bipartisan, pro-growth Dodd-Frank relief reaching his desk as soon as possible.”

A copy of the current text of S. 2155 is available here.

— Read Tensions Run High as Dodd-Frank Rollback Bill Nears Senate Vote on ThinkAdvisor.

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