WASHINGTON — Kurt Bock, chief executive officer of COUNTRY Financial and chair of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) testified today before the House Financial Services Committee on H.R. 5059, the bipartisan “State Insurance Regulation Preservation Act” on behalf of PCI and its approximately 350 member company groups.
In his testimony, Bock notes that, under the Dodd-Frank Act, COUNTRY became subject to Federal Reserve examinations because the company maintained a very small savings and loan association that accounted for 0.2 percent of COUNTRY’s total assets.
“While the Federal Reserve staff are exceptionally professional, the endless discovery questionnaires and on-site visits to oversee every corner of our operations consumed roughly 25 percent of our compliance staff time. We requested deregistration of our savings and loan holding company in 2015 and were released from Federal Reserve supervision in 2017.
“Numerous PCI members have had to divest their small depository institutions that were serving customers and adding synergies to their operations because of the increased supervisory costs. That clearly was not the intent of the Dodd-Frank Act.
“We fully respect the integrity of the Federal Reserve in carrying out its new responsibilities. But we do not believe that Congress truly intended to create an additional layer of intensive federal insurance supervision. After years of assurances that Federal oversight will be proportional, it is clear that further legislative direction is required.
“The legislation by Representatives Rothfus and Beatty clarifies the congressional intent of Dodd-Frank and the growing recognition that Federal Reserve oversight of insurance holding companies needs to be coordinated with state insurance regulators and appropriately tailored and limited to the Fed’s unique mission.
“H.R. 5059 would go far toward eliminating this unproductive duplication and at the same time assure robust and coordinated state and federal regulation that is both effective and efficient.
“PCI and COUNTRY look forward to working with policymakers to finalize and enact H.R. 5059.”
Bock’s testimony is attached.