Friday, December 19, 2014

Texas Offers Look at Demographics of New Insurance Agents

The Texas Department of Insurance recently published its annual report that details by demographic who has - and who has not - gotten licensed to sell insurance in the state.  The report is very long and warrants an in-depth look, but there appears to be progress in Texas in closing some troubling disparities.

Research by CFS has shown that the agents most likely to work in underserved communities are often the agents that have the most difficulty getting through the licensing process.  While that seems to still be the case in Texas, the chart below suggests Texas regulators are working on the problem.  That is great news.  But as the difference between the pass rate for Hispanic and Caucasian testers shows, there is sill more to do.

What's Coming in 2015?

The debate over the DOL's expanded fiduciary standard is expected to heat up in January, and the incoming chair of the Senate HELP committee expects to make his voice heard.  According to ThinkAdvisor, Hatch wants the DOL to slow down.

Key point:
Hatch’s SAFE Act prevents DOL from “over-regulating IRA investment advice,” and would restore jurisdiction for IRA prohibited transaction rules to the Treasury Department and also requires Treasury to consult with the Securities and Exchange Commission in prescribing rules relating to the professional standards of care owed by brokers and investment advisors to IRA owners.