News Column

PCI Sends Joint Industry Letter to Members of Senate Banking Committee Asking for Hearing

April 24, 2014



DES PLAINES, Ill., April 24 -- The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America issued the following news release: Nat Wienecke, senior vice president, federal government relations at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) issued the following statement in response to a joint industry letter sent to the members of the Senate and Banking Committee asking for a hearing to explore the impact on consumers and markets that would result from the ongoing work of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). The IAIS has indicated that they have been instructed by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to establish quantitative capital standards for active insurers, including many U.S. insurance companies. It's important to note that there are no U.S. state insurance regulators represented at the FSB, which is a concern for the industry.

"The Property and Casualty insurance industry is concerned for many reasons, one being that the IAIS is attempting to develop a European-style quantitative insurance capital standard," said Wienecke. "Insurers already have to comply with capital standards in the countries in which they conduct business, and what the IAIS is attempting to do is unreasonable with this 'one-size fits all' approach."

"Not only are these unfair requirements for insurers but this goes against the Dodd-Frank Act, which clearly states that unless a company is designated as a systemically important financial institution (SIFI), or operates under a thrift holding company structure, the state-based system of insurance regulation should apply," continued Wienecke.

In February, nine senators sent a joint letter to the U.S. members of the FSB, expressing strong concerns about global insurance capital standards and underscoring that Dodd-Frank Act provides direction to regulators to not force insurers into a one size all regulatory regime.

"We hope committee members see the need for a public hearing and ask important questions about the impact this could have on insurers and policyholders. IAIS and FSB might be taking a step to far, and at this point in time there's no need to take this approach," said Wienecke.

"We look forward to continuing the discussion with committee members and working through our concerns," said Wienecke.

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