"The United States has the most sophisticated capital markets in the world, with the most competitive and innovative financial instruments,” Allstate Chairman Thomas Wilson told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness at the Third Annual Capital Markets Summit yesterday. “Yet our system for regulating them is a Depression-era hodgepodge. We need real regulatory reform, better oversight and greater transparency.”

Wilson went on to say the leaders of the industry must re-examine the way risk is shared between government, business and the American people, and he called for a federal insurance charter to cover the insurance industry. This would allow strong consumer protections and uniform regulation across states, which in turn, would lower administrative costs and improve access to new and innovative products, he said.

Wilson may get his way. “The insurance industry has been having this OFC debate for decades and it never changed,” Howard Mills, chief advisor to the insurance practice at New York-based Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, told Insurance Networking News. “I think that this is the Congressional session that we’re going to see some significant changes that will impact this industry for decades to come.”

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