Banking, Insurance, and Financial Services

As the chief legal officers of the states, commonwealths and territories of the United States, attorneys general serve as counselors to state government agencies and legislatures, and as representatives of the public interest. A large group of new state attorneys general were sworn in at the beginning of 2011, following the November 2010 elections. This year will bring a continued effort to fight financial fraud but attorneys general now have expanded enforcement authority under a new federal law. The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is also making a priority of providing the highest quality legal training for those in state government service.

 

As residents in parts of the Midwest experienced record flooding this spring, discussions began on Capitol Hill about the future of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Secretaries of state and other officials are concerned about a push by Congress to federalize corporate disclosure laws. Those interviewed for this article say federal intervention is unwarranted, and they worry about the impacts of such a move on cash-strapped state budgets, as well as on small businesses. Meanwhile, several states that have been singled out for problems related to shell companies have amended their laws to help address real or perceived loopholes. Other states are working with national organizations to produce legislative language for states on this issue.

This bill authorizes the state commissioner of banking and insurance to create a program and promulgate rules to encourage banks to establish branches in geographic locations in the state where there is a demonstrated need for banking services. The criteria for such areas to be designated as banking development districts include the number of sites offering banking services that are already in the area, the need for banking services in such areas, and the potential impact that additional banking services would have on economic development in the areas.
The legislation authorizes banks in such areas to be designated depositories of public money and allows the state treasurer and municipal governments to deposit public money in such banks at a special, fixed interest rate of return. 
 

According to the Uniform Law Commissioners (ULC), anyone who establishes and develops a business in America has choices available for the entity that may be chosen to do business. As a business grows, these options also allow for some changes in form and location of the entity chosen. For example, a small enterprise that chooses to be a partnership initially has the opportunity to reorganize as a corporation when the business is big enough to want the advantage of the corporate form.

This Act limits how life insurers can deny a policy to someone or cancel or charge different rates to policy holders based upon the applicants‘ or policy holders‘ past or future travel to lawful destinations. It makes for exceptions when the insurers‘ decisions are based upon sound actuarial principles or reasonably anticipated experience.

International trade creates litigation between countries and judgments that must be enforced from country to country. There is a strong need for uniformity between states with respect to the law governing foreign country money-judgments. If foreign country judgments are not enforced appropriately and uniformly, it may make enforcement of the judgments of American courts more difficult in foreign country courts.

In 2005, the Uniform Law Commissioners promulgated the Uniform Debt-Management Services Act (UDMSA). It provides the states with a comprehensive Act governing these services that will mean national administration of debt counseling and management in a fair and effective way. UDMSA may be divided into three basic parts: registration of services, service-debtor agreements, and enforcement.

Legislators this year will consider a host of new compacts that could help them tackle a variety of challenging issues, covering everything from prescription drug abuse to insurance. The Council of State Governments’ National Center for Interstate Compacts has been instrumental in helping craft these compacts.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments (CSG) supports The Surplus Lines Insurance Multi-State Compliance Compact, also supported by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), the surplus and excess lines industry, and major national property-casualty and producer organizations—to comply with the NRRA and maximize state non-admitted insurance premium tax collection.

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