FIO Advisors to Meet As Treasury Keeps Mum on Overdue Report
The first meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance (FACI) has been scheduled at the U.S. Treasury Department, even as industry participants anxiously await the FIO’s report to Congress with its recommendations on regulatory modernization. The report was due in January, but the FIO said its release is being delayed; no new date for release has been set. Meanwhile, the FACI open meeting will convene March 30th.
The FIO report on how to modernize insurance regulation, a part of the Dodd-Frank bill authorizing the FIO, was a provision strenuously opposed by PIA. PIA believed that the FIO could not offer objective recommendations to Congress because it has a vested interest in them. FIO is a creature of the Treasury Department, which has advocated for a federal takeover of insurance regulation from the states. The federal law that created the FIO prohibits the office from acting as an insurance regulator – a safeguard put in place due to intensive lobbying by the NAIC, aided by PIA. Still, various public remarks by FIO Director Michael McRaith gave the impression that FIO was already chafing at those restrictions.
PIA met with McRaith at his request on November 29 to discuss PIA’s views on regulatory modernization priorities. McRaith met with PIA Executive Vice President & CEO Leonard C. Brevik, Senior Vice President Patricia A. Borowski and Assistant Vice President of Federal Affairs Mike Becker. PIA’s comments were on the record and will be included in FIO’s report to Congress. PIA also filed formal comments with the FIO detailing our take on regulatory modernization. PIA affirmed our full support of state regulation of insurance, our opposition to federal encroachment and we advised the FIO to avoid seeking to expand its own authority.