Effective October 3, 2011, the Banking Department and
the New York State Insurance Department will soon merge to become the New York State Department of
Financial Services (DFS). A press
release from the New York State Banking Department states: “Integrating these
agencies under a single leadership and management structure will allow for greater efficiency and will
help modernize regulatory oversight of the financial services industry.”
Historically, the separate banking and insurance
departments of the State of New York have respected their own separate jurisdictional limits relative to
their separate licensing, regulatory, and enforcement initiative designed to protect the interests of
bank customers and insurance policyholders. With the emergence of banking, insurance, and
financial conglomerates and their multiple cross-offerings of banking, securities, and insurance
products, the consolidation of these departments is a natural outgrowth.
Investor rights advocates welcome this consolidation as
being in the interest of consumers, bank depositors, insurance policyholders and investors.
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