Bill would alter capital rules for insurance companies

A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would clarify the Dodd-Frank Act with regard to how the Federal Reserve Board applies capital requirements to nonbank firms such as insurance companies.

Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Mike Johanns, R-Neb., introduced the bill after a hearing on the issue held by the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions, which Brown chairs.

In a statement, Brown said, “”Traditional banking operations – while faced with a different set of challenges – conduct business distinctly different than that of an insurer. That is why the Federal Reserve must recognize the differences between the industries and ensure that institutions engaging in insurance are not held to the same capital requirements as traditional banks.”

The American Insurance Association has already endorsed the legislation, but observers are skeptical of how quickly the bill will progress through Congress, according to American Banker.

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