Uniform National Standards Necessary in FCRA Reauthorization

September 25, 2003

The Alliance of American Insurers says the Senate Banking Committee’s efforts to maintain a national standard for consumer protection rather than allowing states to enact conflicting provisions is a positive step forward as Congress moves to reauthorize the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The Senate Banking Committee approved, on Sept. 23rd, S 1633, legislation reauthorizing provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that are scheduled to expire Jan. 1, 2004. These expiring provisions provide for uniform national consumer protection standards and prevent states from enacting conflicting provisions. The legislation also addresses a number issues including identity theft, the sharing of personal financial information among business affiliates, and a study of credit-based insurance scores.

“While the legislation contains several provisions that we want to take a closer look at before the full Senate considers the legislation, we are pleased that the committee has acted with dispatch,” Kenneth Schloman, Washington counsel for the Alliance of American Insurers, said. “The fact that the legislation reauthorizes the uniform national consumer protection standards is significant. These standards allow the free flow of needed information to the financial service industry without being required to meet differing and often conflicting state requirements. This in turn allows the American consumer greater access to a wide variety of products, while at the same time allowing insurers and others to provide these products quickly and efficiently.”

The Senate is expected to consider S 1633 later this month. Earlier this year the House passed HR 2622, its version of the legislation.

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