ABA Media Contact: Blair Bernstein
Last updated: Sept. 30, 2014
In 1999, Congress enacted the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB), which expanded the ability of banks to market insurance products. ABA and its affiliate the American Bankers Insurance Association (ABIA) are committed to ensuring that insurance organizations and the consumers they serve continue to benefit from the enlarged insurance authority granted under the GLB Act.
Since 1999, bank insurance sales have steadily grown. In the first half of 2008, the nation's bank holding companies increased their total insurance revenue 9.5 percent to $23.7 billion from $21.7 billion during the same period in 2007. During the first six months of 2008, 607 bank holding companies (64.2 percent of all top-level large BHCs reporting) earned some type of insurance-related revenue.
Insurers are subject to regulation by both the federal and state governments; however, the federal government has given states the primary authority to regulate insurance. Because of this, insurers are often subject to a patchwork of state regulations. ABIA proposes offering an optional federal charter for insurance companies and agencies to create a system similar to the dual banking system that banks have successfully operated under for 140 years. A federal regulatory structure would make the sale of insurance products more efficient, benefiting consumers, banks and insurance companies alike.