DJ Insurers Urge Regulators to Focus on Activities, Not Capital

WASHINGTON — Top officials from two major global insurance companies urged regulators to consider an activities-based approach to insurance regulation rather than one that focuses on increased capital requirements. During a discussion at the Institute for International Finance annual meeting here, senior executives at MetLife Inc. and AXA encouraged global regulators, particularly those at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, to take into account the cumulative effects of prior rules and the cost that increased capital can impose on society. “Mitigating risks does not necessarily mean capital changes. Adding capital to one institution or some in the financial system may not solve the problem at all,” said John Hele, chief financial officer of MetLife. “We end up paying the price of the institutions that don’t do a good job, ” he added.