OCC Insurance Rules to Come in Two Steps

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- The Comptroller of the Currency's office is planning to take a two-step approach to its new insurance rules.

The agency is expected to issue an advisory letter in the next few weeks to remind bankers of the rules governing the sale of insurance.

Senior advisers to the Comptroller told industry and consumer group representatives last week that the letter will explain anti-tying regulations and state consumer protection laws.

Letter to Be 'Very General'

One industry representative briefed by the OCC said the advisory letter will be "very general." A consumer advocate said: "They're heading in the right direction, but they need to do more."

A more comprehensive bulletin to bankers will be issued this summer, the sources who met with agency officials said. It could contain changes to current policy on insurance sales.

Comptroller Eugene A. Ludwig said in December that he would issue new guidelines governing bank insurance sales. He wants to make sure bank customers understand what they are buying, that they have the information they need on fees and any early redemption penalties and costs on policies.

To Keep Ahead of Congress

The agency does not have evidence of widespread problems concerning bank insurance sales. …