Elizabeth Sammis, senior insurance regulatory policy analyst at the FIO, addressed attendees as Director McRaith was participating at an IAIS meeting in Europe.
Ms. Sammis provided an overview of the FIO’s primary authoritative purposes, including monitoring all aspects of the insurance industry, working to assure affordability and access for consumers, and coordinating federal and international policies through representation at the IAIS. She also noted that Director McRaith serves as a non-voting member of the FSOC.
Other functions in which the FIO engages include assisting with stress tests for non-bank financial firms, recommending orderly liquidation, assisting the Treasury Department with TRIA and consulting with states on matters of reinsurance in national and international matters.
As the FIO carries out its functions, it is confronted with challenges that characterize much of 21st century business including an aging population and a growing middle class in emerging markets that has an appetite for previously unavailable financial products. Amid these changes, Ms. Sammis noted a need and an opportunity exists for the US to assume an international leadership role in protecting consumers.
The FIO carries out its functions with a focus on three key pillars: insurance regulatory policies, financial stability and ensuring the availability and affordability of insurance. Much of its activity is internationally focused and the FIO has played a guiding role in assisting the IAIS Technical Committee as it develops its ComFrame approach. The FIO was involved in the December 2012 publication of The Way Forward and in June 2013, the IAIS will release an initial ComFrame report. The FIO has developed a three-stage program to designate non-bank SIFIs at the international level.
The objectives and initiatives identified by the Steering Committee of the EU-US Dialogue Project focus on professional secrecy/confidentiality, group supervision, solvency and capital requirements, reinsurance and collateral requirements, supervisory reporting, peer reviews and independent, third party review and supervisory on-site examinations.
In assuring access and affordability for consumers, the FIO focuses on cultivating accurate and timely data, ensuring transparency, helping regulators address risk and identify changing demographics that will impact products delivered and how they’re regulated.
Our partners for this event, Faegre Baker Daniels, have also published a brief report of the Summit.