Geithner Urges Congress on Financial Services Reform

By Staff Report

Jul. 28, 2009

Financial services regulatory reform, including insurance regulatory reform, needs to be dealt with this year, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told a House panel Friday, July 24.

Geithner offered his comments to the House Financial Services Committee in response to a question from Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pennsylvania.

The Obama administration sent a package of draft legislation addressing a broad range of regulatory issues earlier this week, and Rep. Kanjorski asked Geithner how quickly Congress should move on the legislation.

The Treasury secretary replied that the legislation should be treated as a package, adding, “I think it’s very important we move this year.”

Rep. Kanjorski then asked whether failure to establish some sort of “national jurisdiction” over insurance would hamper the administration’s efforts to control systemic risk. Geithner replied that it was “very important” that insurance be part of the larger reform.

The administration has called for the creation of an Office of National Insurance within the Treasury Department as part of its regulatory reform legislative package. Among other things, the office would represent the U.S. in international insurance matters and in some cases could pre-empt state insurance regulators.

The proposal builds upon legislation introduced earlier this year by Kanjorski to create a more limited Office of Insurance Information.

Kanjorski praised the administration’s approach in his opening statement at Friday’s hearing, saying, “I am pleased that the administration calls for establishing an Office of National Insurance, an idea I first originated and for which I have strongly advocated for some time.”

Filed by Mark A. Hofmann of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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