Tester amendment part of financial reform proposal

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Senate Banking Committee’s approval of a plan to reform Wall Street after contained a provision by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., to keep individual insurance agents and brokers from being bogged down by time-consuming red tape and paperwork.

The Wall Street reform bill would establish an Office of National Insurance to monitor insurance practices in states. The office would not interfere with the current state-based system of insurance regulation.

Tester’s amendment ensures that individual agents, brokers, and adjusters would not have to go through the hassle of providing reporting information to the Office of National Insurance.

“This is about making sure individual folks making a living in Montana aren’t subject to new burdens as a result of problems that they didn’t create,” said Tester, a member of the committee.

“It’s time we close the curtain on the era of ‘too big to fail’ and make Wall Street accountable to Main Street and rural America.”

Tester also has worked to ensure that Montana’s community banks and credit unions are not subject to new examination and enforcement rules, arguing Montana’s small banks “lived within their means” and were not responsible for the financial crisis.

Tester is the only Senate Democrat who voted against both the bailouts of Wall Street and the U.S. auto industry.

Tester has posted the Wall Street reform bill on his website at tester.senate.gov/legislation.