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If it was even slightly shady, the regulators (a department for every state, plus the SEC, FTC & NASD) would drop on them like a bag of bricks.

That's a F-A-C-T.

Top Regulatory Issues Facing the Insurance Industry in 2012

If 2011 did not usher in a wave of regulatory and corporate compliance concerns for insurance carriers, 2012 certainly will. Each sector – be it life, health, property and casualty, or reinsurance – should begin preparing to address what’s on the horizon. Starting with the largest and most complex carriers, possible designation as a Systemically Important Financial Institution (SIFI) is a main concern. This designation would result in federal oversight, something new for many carriers. Much of the associated regulation is yet to be determined, but increased capital, reporting and examination requirements are expected, as is the development and maintenance of a resolution plan, commonly called a “living will.” For those insurance companies owning depository institutions, bank holding company requirements such as required capital levels and frequency of examinations are additional concerns. Recently announced sales or planned divestitures of banking subsidies by big-name carriers suggest trepidation among many in the industry about these new requirements. There also are concerns about increased oversight by the banking regulators, and in some instances the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Carriers are typically not accustomed to this level of oversight, which may overlay existing insurance regulation yet would still require compliance. However, regardless of comfort level, companies with operations that include a bank must prepare for more stringent regulation of the banking industry in the United States and should be proactive in understanding the impact it has on their organization.

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