The Financial Stability Oversight Council Holds Inaugural Meeting; Proposed Rulemakings on Nonbank Financial Companies and the Volcker Rule Will Impact Insurers

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Sutherland continues to track the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Act). Title I of the Act established the Financial Stability Oversight Council (Council), and the Council has been tasked with three key systemic risk functions: (1) identifying risks to the financial stability of the United States arising from the material financial distress or failure of large, interconnected bank holding companies or nonbank financial companies; (2) promoting market discipline, by eliminating expectations that the U.S. government will protect shareholders, creditors, and counterparties from losses in the event of failure of a major institution; and (3) responding to emerging threats to the stability of U.S. financial markets.1 On October 1, 2010, the Council (as currently comprised) held its initial meeting and took an important first step down the arduous path of rulemaking that will set the standards for nonbank financial companies (NFC(s)), including potentially insurers, that will be subject to the new regulatory regime. As a result of the initial meeting, the Council issued two advance notices of proposed rulemaking regarding: (1) its authority to require supervision and regulation of certain NFCs; and (2) the so-called “Volcker Rule.” These rulemakings will provide some initial context on how the Council will impact the operations of insurance companies.

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