House Financial Services Committee Announces Hearing on Office of National Insurance

Yesterday, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank, D-Mass., announced a full committee hearing for Tuesday, October 6, titled, “Capital Markets Regulatory Reform: Strengthening Investor Protection, Enhancing Oversight of Private Pools of Capital, and Creating a National Insurance Office.” The hearing is scheduled to have three panels: the first will be on the expanded regulation of financial advisors, the second will be regarding increased oversight of private hedge funds, and the third panel will be an insurance panel discussing the proposal for a new federal Office of National Insurance (ONI).

The ONI was originally a part of the Obama Administration’s white paper on the future of financial services regulatory reform and resembles the Office of Insurance Information (OII) as proposed by Chairman Paul Kanjorski, D-Penn. However, these two offices are fundamentally different. For a helpful comparison click here. While NAMIC supported the creation of the OII, we have serious concerns with the scope of the ONI and its broad authority to issue subpoenas for data collection as well as the power to preempt state laws in the interest of international agreements.

NAMIC has led efforts to educate and inform those on Capitol Hill about the important difference between these two offices and will be working through the weekend to write testimony for the hearing. A copy of the testimony will be distributed prior to the hearing.