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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Congress Passes Dodd-Frank Fix to Capital Rules for Large Insurers

By ABIA Outside Counsel, Chrys D. Lemon, McIntyre & Lemon, PLLC

Congress passes tweaks to Dodd-Frank Act giving systemically important insurance companies flexibility in meeting capital requirements.
Reuters reports: “The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill giving big insurance companies such as American International Group Inc and Prudential Financial Inc relief from part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank oversight law.
“Lawmakers agreed to give the U.S. Federal Reserve more authority to tailor the capital requirements it places on big insurers. The U.S. Senate approved the change in June, and it now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.”
“Dodd-Frank applied the same strict standard to big insurers and other non-bank companies that regulators believe are risky enough that their failure could threaten markets.
“Insurers, however, said their business models were too different from banks’ to justify identical capital rules. They said insurers hold different assets than banks do and are not subject to runs on their businesses in crises.
“Lawmakers, including Republican Senator Susan Collins, who wrote the relevant section of Dodd-Frank, and many regulators supported changing the law to give the Fed flexibility to write rules specifically aimed at insurers.”