The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly referred to as Dodd-Frank, is the most comprehensive overhaul of U.S. financial regulations in decades. The law has introduced new risk management challenges and will continue to do so as it is implemented.
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The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly referred to as Dodd-Frank, affects all federal financial regulatory agencies and nearly the entire financial services industry. While it removes some existing agencies and merges a few others, it also creates several new agencies to increase oversight of specific institutions that are deemed a systemic risk to the U.S. financial system.
One of the agencies created by the act is the Federal Insurance Office (FIO). The first U.S. federal government office established to focus on insurance, the FIO will be responsible for monitoring the insurance industry for systemic risk issues and for collecting insurance industry information such as consumer access to affordable insurance products by minorities, individuals with challenging income levels, and under-served communities.
Through state-based reforms, the FIO will streamline the regulation of surplus lines insurance and reinsurance.
Below we outline how Dodd-Frank could affect risk management.
The combination of increased regulatory scrutiny and empowerment of consumers and investors creates powerful incentives for board members and senior management to fulfill their fiduciary duties. Companies should prepare for enforcement of Dodd-Frank by reviewing their own practices, particularly in the areas of data collection, governance, and compensation.
Corporate leaders must be proactive in anticipating the new requirements and preparing their organizations for the advent of the new regulatory landscape.
Deep within the 2,319-page Dodd-Frank law is the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA), which is intended to simplify the complex—and often conflicting—web of taxing, licensing, and eligibility rules for surplus lines insurance across the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.
The NRRA will become effective as of July 21, 2011, at which point it will cover all surplus lines policies that incept from that date forward. Its main provisions are as follows:
The whistleblower protection provision of Dodd-Frank (Title IX, Subtitle B, Section 922) establishes a potential bounty to individuals reporting “original information” to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding securities violations within their companies. If eligible, such “whistleblowing” activities could yield an award of 10 percent to 30 percent of the monetary sanctions imposed in an action, subject to a minimum sanction of $1 million.
Dodd-Frank’s compensation “clawback” provision, technically known as “Recovery of Erroneously Awarded Compensation” (Title IX, Subtitle E, Sec. 954), requires a company to:
Failure to comply with the “clawback” provisions could result in a de-listing from its exchange.
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