New York Signs Regulatory Agreement with Macau

By | April 2, 2009

New York Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo signed a cooperation agreement earlier this week with his counterpart in Macau, a move signaling the increasingly international approach to regulation for the country’s highest profile state commissioner.

The agreement, signed Monday by António José Félix Pontes, Macau’s highest insurance regulator, calls for closer cooperation between the two regulatory bodies.

The agreement with Macau — which along with Hong Kong is one of two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China — follows similar agreements the New York commissioner has signed over the last 18 months with regulators in Germany, the United Kingdom, Taiwan and Bermuda, among others.

The Macau agreement, like those others, formalizes the process of consultation and cooperation between the two overseers, and should increase the exchange of information between the two.

It also continues the formalizing of New York’s global approach to insurance regulation through the creation of memorandums of understanding.

“Memorandums of understanding are our way of sharing information with foreign jurisdictions that are… protected by regulatory statute,” Dinallo told Insurance Journal during an on-camera interview in late February. “We have the mechanism to enter these agreements, share information, in a way that (we) would be doing with other sister agencies here in the United States. It’s important to do it, because I think that insurance is increasingly global.”

N.Y. Insurance Chief Dinallo: Beyond AIG

Given that New York is the headquarters of many of the industry’s biggest insurers and brokers, the creation of regulatory agreements with other countries remains a key priority for Dinallo.

The memos, Dinallo said, are “effective ways of both demonstrating the ability to have an exchange, and actually, the spirit of cooperation… (I)t helps kind of unify our regulatory system.”

Added Pontes: “Effective supervision of insurance groups that span the globe can only be achieved through close cooperation and sharing of information between insurance regulators.” The agreement, he said, “will go a long way in our efforts to enhance prudential supervision of international insurers and insurance groups.”

In addition to the recently signed agreement, The New York Insurance Department said it is close to executing arrangements with other international regulatory authorities, as well.

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