New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Continues Criticism of “Shadow Insurance” Transactions in Letter to U.S. Senate Committee

New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky continued his attack against the use of so-called “shadow insurance” in an April 27, 2015 letter to the Honorable Sherrod Brown, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. In the letter, Lawsky called on regulators to initiate measures to address this “textbook example of regulatory arbitrage in order to protect the efficacy of our state-based system of regulation” and hopes to stimulate a national debate on these issues.

Lawsky …

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Policyholders Join Regulators in Casting Light on Shadow Insurance

The issue of “shadow insurance” has been the subject of increasing regulatory and governmental scrutiny. Policyholders are now joining the effort via five class action lawsuits against three different insurance companies, MetLife, AXA Equitable and Lincoln National, for their use of shadow insurance.

Shadow insurance usually refers to an insurance company’s attempt to re-allocate reserve and collateral funds.  The New York State Department of Financial Services describes shadow insurance as follows:

In a typical shadow insurance transaction, an insurance company creates a “captive” insurance subsidiary, …

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