Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and U.K. Regulator Sign International Cooperation Agreement
– Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today announced that the Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) and the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority (FSA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) formally committing to work together on sharing critical information and coordinating regulatory duties about insurance issues that could affect consumers in the United Kingdom and in the United States. This agreement follows a similar MOU
the Office entered into with the German regulator BaFin and announced
on June 22.
Both the Office and the FSA – the integrated financial services regulator for the banking, insurance and securities sector of the U.K. economy – have regularly cooperated with each other; but this agreement will give each regulatory agency formal authority to request assistance of the other for verification, investigation and examination of issues related to regulated companies under one or the other’s purview. It establishes a formal basis for consultation, cooperation and coordination between the FSA and the Office, and it provides for the exchange of information relevant to each agency’s supervisory, regulatory and examination responsibilities.
“The longstanding link between Florida and the U.K. insurance market is one of the key facets of our marketplace,” said Commissioner McCarty. “In our increasingly volatile globalized market, a proactive approach to regulatory cooperation is critical for our responsibilities regarding the monitoring of financial solvency and general policyholder protection.”
The U.K. plays an important role in providing reinsurance capacity for Florida domestic insurers. Florida companies require in excess of $20 billion from private reinsurers, 18 percent of which comes from Lloyd’s of London. In July 2008, Commissioner McCarty accompanied Florida Gov. Charlie Crist on his Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission during which the commissioner met with the chairman of Lloyd’s of London and several other U.K.-based regulatory agencies. It was during this meeting that creation of the bilateral agreement was first discussed with colleagues from the FSA.
Members of the Office have been regular participants in international organizations of insurance and financial regulators, including the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), the Joint Forum, and insurance group Supervisory Colleges.