New York State

Insurance

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Contact:
Public Affairs
(212) 480-5262
www.ins.state.ny.us

James J. Wrynn    Superintendent of Insurance    25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 6/22/2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK AND SWISS REGULATORS SIGN COOPERATION AGREEMENT

The New York State Insurance Department and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) have executed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) allowing for closer cooperation between the two regulatory bodies.

The agreement was announced today by New York State Insurance Department Superintendent James Wrynn and Dr. Patrick Raaflaub, CEO of FINMA, the government agency responsible for financial regulation in Switzerland. FINMA’s responsibilities include supervising banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges, securities dealers and other financial intermediaries.

“Close cooperation between international regulators is among the most effective ways to regulate global financial services. The Insurance Department is proud to execute this agreement with FINMA because it will allow both regulators to closely cooperate to promote the growth of robust, solvent financial services and markets and safeguard the interests of policyholders, creditors, investors and other stakeholders and the financial services industry as a whole,” Wrynn said.

"Financial markets and financial institutions are becoming more and more global. International cooperation between regulators and supervisory authorities is key to meeting these developments. Therefore, FINMA is very satisfied to conclude an MoU with the New York State Insurance Department. This is another important step,” Dr. Raaflaub, CEO of FINMA, said.

Under the MoU, either regulator may request assistance from the other, including obtaining information on a regulated person or entity. Either regulator may provide the other with investigative assistance with respect to companies and persons engaged in the business of insurance.

The MoU commits FINMA and New York regulators to cooperating with each other in the interest of fulfilling their respective regulatory mandates and functions.

The Insurance Department has already executed MoUs with insurance regulators in 10 other countries, including Bermuda, China, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The Department is in the process of negotiating agreements with regulators in several other countries.

Negotiating the MoU for the Insurance Department were Deputy Superintendent and General Counsel Martha Lees and Special Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer D. Monica Marsh. Negotiating the agreement for FINMA was Marco Franchetti, Head of International Cooperation.

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About the New York State Insurance Department

The New York State Insurance Department regulates all insurance business transacted in New York State and is the primary regulator for insurance entities domiciled in New York. In its capacity as regulator, the Department administers, interprets and enforces the provisions of New York’s insurance laws and regulations, and is vested and charged with all rights, powers and duties as expressed or reasonably implied by the New York Insurance Law. Entities regulated by the Department have assets under management in excess of $4 trillion. Later this year, the Insurance Department will merge with the New York State Banking Department to form the New York State Department of Financial Services. The merger will not affect the regulators’ ability to continue to share information about insurance companies.

About Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is an independent supervisory authority responsible for protecting creditors, investors, and policyholders, as well as ensuring the smooth functioning of financial markets. FINMA's primary objective is to provide protection for market players and the financial system, as well as the system's reputation. By doing so, it indirectly contributes to enhancing the competitiveness of the financial sector which is a desired effect of its supervisory activities. FINMA was established in 2007 when Swiss insurance, banking and anti-money laundering control agencies were merged into a single authority responsible for all financial regulation in Switzerland. FINMA reports directly to the Swiss parliament.

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