S 534 IS
To reform the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 12, 2013
March 12, 2013
Mr. TESTER (for himself, Mr. JOHANNS, Mr. BENNET, Mr. CRAPO, Mr. MURPHY, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. WARNER, Ms. HEITKAMP, Mr. WICKER, Mr. CARPER, Mr. MORAN, Mr. MENENDEZ, Mr. NELSON, and Mr. HELLER) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
To reform the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2013’.
SEC. 2. REESTABLISHMENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REGISTERED AGENTS AND BROKERS.
(a) In General- Subtitle C of title III of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (15 U.S.C. 6751 et seq.) is amended to read as follows:
‘Subtitle C--National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers
‘SEC. 321. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REGISTERED AGENTS AND BROKERS.
‘(a) Establishment- There is established the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (hereafter in this subtitle referred to as the ‘Association’).
‘(b) Status- The Association shall--
‘(1) be a nonprofit corporation;
‘(2) have succession until dissolved by an Act of Congress;
‘(3) not be an agent or instrumentality of the United States Government; and
‘(4) except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, be subject to, and have all the powers conferred upon, a nonprofit corporation by the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act (D.C. Code, sec. 29-301.01 et seq.).
‘(c) Effective Date- The provisions of this subtitle shall take effect upon the expiration of the 24-month period beginning on the date of enactment of the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2013. Notwithstanding the effective date, such persons as are required to establish the Association shall take such actions as are necessary to establish the operations of the Association by the effective date.
‘SEC. 322. PURPOSE.
‘The purpose of the Association shall be to provide a mechanism through which licensing, continuing education, and other nonresident insurance producer qualification requirements and conditions may be adopted and applied on a multi-state basis without affecting the laws, rules, and regulations, and preserving the rights of a State, pertaining to--
‘(1) licensing, continuing education, and other qualification requirements of insurance producers who are not members of the Association;
‘(2) resident or nonresident insurance producer appointment requirements;
‘(3) supervising and disciplining resident and nonresident insurance producers;
‘(4) establishing licensing fees for resident and nonresident insurance producers so that there is no loss of insurance producer licensing revenue to the State; and
‘(5) prescribing and enforcing laws and regulations regulating the conduct of resident and nonresident insurance producers.
‘SEC. 323. MEMBERSHIP.
‘(1) IN GENERAL- Any insurance producer licensed in its home State shall, subject to paragraphs (2) and (4), be eligible to become a member of the Association.
‘(2) INELIGIBILITY FOR SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF LICENSE- Subject to paragraph (3), an insurance producer is not eligible to become a member of the Association if a State insurance regulator has suspended or revoked the insurance license of the insurance producer in that State.
‘(3) RESUMPTION OF ELIGIBILITY- Paragraph (2) shall cease to apply to any insurance producer if--
‘(A) the State insurance regulator reissues or renews the license of the insurance producer in the State in which the license was suspended or revoked, or otherwise terminates or vacates the suspension or revocation; or
‘(B) the suspension or revocation expires or is subsequently overturned by a court of competent jurisdiction.
‘(4) CRIMINAL BACKGROUND RECORD CHECK REQUIRED-
‘(A) IN GENERAL- An insurance producer shall not be eligible to become a member of the Association unless the insurance producer has undergone a national criminal background record check of its Federal Bureau of Investigation identification record that complies with regulations prescribed by the Attorney General under subparagraph (L).
‘(B) CRIMINAL BACKGROUND RECORD CHECK REQUESTED BY HOME STATE- An insurance producer who is licensed in a State and who has undergone a national criminal background record check of its Federal Bureau of Investigation identification record during the 2-year period preceding the date of submission of an application to become a member of the Association, in compliance with such requirements as a condition for such licensure, shall be deemed to have undergone a national criminal background record check for purposes of subparagraph (A).
‘(C) CRIMINAL BACKGROUND RECORD CHECK REQUESTED BY ASSOCIATION-
‘(i) IN GENERAL- The Association shall, upon request by an insurance producer licensed in a State, submit identification information obtained from the insurance producer, and a request for a national criminal background record check of the insurance producer, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
‘(ii) BYLAWS OR RULES- The board of directors of the Association shall prescribe bylaws or rules for obtaining and utilizing identification information and criminal history record information, including the establishment of reasonable fees required to perform a criminal background record check and appropriate safeguards for maintaining confidentiality and security of the information.
‘(D) FORM OF REQUEST- A submission under subparagraph (C)(i) shall include such identification information as required by the Attorney General concerning the person about whom the record is requested and a statement signed by the person authorizing the Association to obtain the information.
‘(E) PROVISION OF INFORMATION BY ATTORNEY GENERAL- Upon receiving a submission under subparagraph (C)(ii) from the Association, the Attorney General shall search all records of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the Attorney General deems appropriate for criminal history records corresponding to the identification information provided under subparagraph (D) and provide all information contained in the records that pertains to the request to the Association.
‘(F) LIMITATION ON PERMISSIBLE USES OF INFORMATION- The Association may use information provided under subparagraph (E) only--
‘(i) for purposes of determining compliance with membership criteria established by the Association; or
‘(ii) to disclose to State insurance regulators, or Federal or State law enforcement agencies, in conformance with applicable law.
‘(G) APPLICANT ACCESS TO CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS- Notwithstanding subparagraph (F), an insurance producer shall have the right to obtain from the Association a copy of any criminal history record information concerning the insurance producer that is provided to the Association under subparagraph (E).
‘(H) PENALTY FOR IMPROPER USE OR DISCLOSURE- Whoever knowingly uses any information provided under subparagraph (E) for a purpose not authorized in subparagraph (F), or discloses any such information to anyone not authorized to receive it, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both.
‘(I) RELIANCE ON INFORMATION- Neither the Association nor any of its directors, officers, or employees shall be liable in any action for using information provided under subparagraph (E) as permitted under subparagraph (F) in good faith and in reasonable reliance on its accuracy.
‘(J) FEES- The Attorney General may charge a reasonable fee to defray the expense of conducting the search and providing the information under subparagraph (E), and any such fee shall be collected and remitted by the Association.
‘(K) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as--
‘(i) requiring a State insurance regulator to perform criminal background checks under this section; or
‘(ii) limiting any other authority that allows access to criminal background records.
‘(L) REGULATIONS- The Attorney General shall prescribe regulations to carry out this paragraph, which shall include--
‘(i) appropriate protections for ensuring the confidentiality of information provided under subparagraph (E); and
‘(ii) procedures providing a reasonable opportunity for an insurance producer to contest the accuracy of information regarding the insurance producer provided under subparagraph (E).
‘(M) INELIGIBILITY FOR MEMBERSHIP-
‘(i) IN GENERAL- The Association may, under reasonably consistently applied standards, deny membership to an insurance producer on the basis of criminal history information provided under subparagraph (E), or where the insurance producer has been subject to disciplinary action, as described in paragraph (2).
‘(ii) RIGHTS OF APPLICANTS DENIED MEMBERSHIP- The Association shall notify any insurance producer who is denied membership on the basis of criminal history record information provided under subparagraph (E) of the right of the insurance producer to--
‘(I) obtain a copy of all criminal history record information provided to the Association under subparagraph (E) with respect to the insurance producer; and
‘(II) challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information.
‘(b) Authority To Establish Membership Criteria- The Association may establish membership criteria that bear a reasonable relationship to the purposes for which the Association was established.
‘(c) Establishment of Classes and Categories of Membership-
‘(1) CLASSES OF MEMBERSHIP- The Association may establish separate classes of membership, with separate criteria, if the Association reasonably determines that performance of different duties requires different levels of education, training, experience, or other qualifications.
‘(2) BUSINESS ENTITIES- The Association shall establish a class of membership and membership criteria for business entities. A business entity that applies for membership shall be required to designate an individual Association member responsible for the compliance of the business entity with Association rules and the insurance laws, rules, and regulations of any State in which the business entity seeks to do business on the basis of Association membership.
‘(A) SEPARATE CATEGORIES FOR INSURANCE PRODUCERS PERMITTED- The Association may establish separate categories of membership for insurance producers and for other persons within each class, based on the types of licensing categories that exist under State laws.
‘(B) SEPARATE TREATMENT FOR DEPOSITORY INSTITUTIONS PROHIBITED- No special categories of membership, and no distinct membership criteria, shall be established for members which are depository institutions or for employees, agents, or affiliates of depository institutions.
‘(d) Membership Criteria-
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Association may establish criteria for membership which shall include standards for personal qualifications, education, training, and experience. The Association shall not establish criteria that unfairly limit the ability of a small insurance producer to become a member of the Association, including imposing discriminatory membership fees.
‘(2) QUALIFICATIONS- In establishing criteria under paragraph (1), the Association shall not adopt any qualification less protective to the public than that contained in the NAIC Producer Licensing Model Act in effect as of the date of enactment of the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2013, and shall consider the highest levels of insurance producer qualifications established under the licensing laws of the States.
‘(3) ASSISTANCE FROM STATES-
‘(A) IN GENERAL- The Association may request a State to provide assistance in investigating and evaluating the eligibility of a prospective member for membership in the Association.
‘(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Subparagraph (A) shall not be construed as requiring or authorizing any State to adopt new or additional requirements concerning the licensing or evaluation of insurance producers.
‘(4) DENIAL OF MEMBERSHIP- The Association may, based on reasonably consistently applied standards, deny membership to any State-licensed insurance producer for failure to meet the membership criteria established by the Association.
‘(e) Effect of Membership-
‘(1) AUTHORITY OF ASSOCIATION MEMBERS- Membership in the Association shall--
‘(A) authorize an insurance producer to sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance in any State for which the member pays the licensing fee set by the State for any line or lines of insurance specified in the home State license of the insurance producer, and exercise all such incidental powers as shall be necessary to carry out such activities, including claims adjustments and settlement to the extent permissible under the laws of the State, risk management, employee benefits advice, retirement planning, and any other insurance-related consulting activities;
‘(B) be the equivalent of a nonresident insurance producer license for purposes of authorizing the insurance producer to engage in the activities described in subparagraph (A) in any State where the member pays the licensing fee; and
‘(C) be the equivalent of a nonresident insurance producer license for the purpose of subjecting an insurance producer to all laws, regulations, provisions or other action of any State concerning revocation, suspension, or other enforcement action related to the ability of a member to engage in any activity within the scope of authority granted under this subsection and to all State laws, regulations, provisions, and actions preserved under paragraph (5).
‘(2) VIOLENT CRIME CONTROL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT ACT OF 1994- Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed to alter, modify, or supercede any requirement established by section 1033 of title 18, United States Code.
‘(3) AGENT FOR REMITTING FEES- The Association shall act as an agent for any member for purposes of remitting licensing fees to any State pursuant to paragraph (1).
‘(4) REGULATOR NOTIFICATION-
‘(A) IN GENERAL- The Association shall notify the States and National Association of Insurance Commissioners (hereinafter referred to in this subtitle as ‘NAIC’) or its designee when an insurance producer has satisfied the membership criteria of this section. The States and NAIC or its designee shall have10 business days after the notification to provide the Association with evidence that the insurance producer does not satisfy the criteria for membership for consideration by the Association in its final membership determination.
‘(B) ONGOING DISCLOSURES REQUIRED- On an ongoing basis, the Association shall disclose to the States and NAIC or its designee the States in which each member is authorized to operate. The Association shall immediately notify the States and NAIC or its designee when a member is newly authorized to operate in one or more States, or is no longer authorized to operate in one or more States on the basis of Association membership.
‘(5) PRESERVATION OF STATE CONSUMER PROTECTION AND MARKET CONDUCT REGULATION- No provision of this section shall be construed as altering or affecting the applicability or continuing effectiveness of any law, regulation, provision, or other action of any State, including any law, regulation, provision, or other action that--
‘(A) regulates market conduct, insurance producer conduct, or unfair trade practices;
‘(B) establishes consumer protections; or
‘(C) requires insurance producers to be appointed by a licensed or authorized insurer,
to the extent that the law, regulation, provision, or other action is not inconsistent with the provisions of this subtitle related to market entry for nonresident insurance producers, and then only to the extent of the inconsistency.
‘(f) Biennial Renewal- Membership in the Association shall be renewed on a biennial basis.
‘(g) Continuing Education-
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Association shall establish, as a condition of membership, continuing education requirements which shall be comparable to the continuing education requirements under the licensing laws of a majority of the States.
‘(2) STATE CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS- A member may not be required to satisfy continuing education requirements imposed under the laws, regulations, provisions, or actions of any State other than the home State of the member.
‘(3) RECIPROCITY- The Association shall not require a member to satisfy continuing education requirements that are equivalent to any continuing education requirements of the home State of the member that have been satisfied by the member during the applicable licensing period.
‘(4) LIMITATION ON ASSOCIATION- The Association shall not directly or indirectly offer any continuing education courses for insurance producers.
‘(h) Probation, Suspension and Revocation-
‘(1) DISCIPLINARY ACTION- The Association may place an insurance producer that is a member of the Association on probation or suspend or revoke the membership of the insurance producer in the Association, or assess monetary fines or penalties, as the Association determines to be appropriate, if--
‘(A) the insurance producer fails to meet the applicable membership criteria or other rules of the Association;
‘(B) the insurance producer has been subject to disciplinary action pursuant to a final adjudicatory proceeding under the jurisdiction of a State insurance regulator;
‘(C) an insurance license held by the insurance producer has been suspended or revoked by a State insurance regulator; or
‘(D) the insurance producer has been convicted of a crime that would have resulted in the denial of membership pursuant to subsection (a)(4)(M)(i) at the time of application and the Association has received a copy of the final disposition from a court of competent jurisdiction.
‘(2) VIOLATIONS OF ASSOCIATION RULES- The Association shall have the power to investigate alleged violations of Association rules.
‘(3) REPORTING- The Association shall immediately notify NAIC or its designee when the membership of an insurance producer has been placed on probation or has been suspended, revoked, or otherwise terminated, or when the Association has assessed monetary fines or penalties.
‘(i) Consumer Complaints-
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Association shall--
‘(A) refer any complaint against a member of the Association from a consumer relating to alleged misconduct or violations of State insurance laws to the State insurance regulator where the consumer resides and, when appropriate, to any additional State insurance regulator, as determined by rules adopted by the Association; and
‘(B) make any related records and information available to NAIC or its designee and to each State insurance regulator to whom the complaint is forwarded.
‘(2) TELEPHONE AND OTHER ACCESS- The Association shall maintain a toll-free number for purposes of this subsection and, as practicable, other alternative means of communication with consumers, such as an Internet webpage.
‘(3) FINAL DISPOSITION OF INVESTIGATION- State insurance regulators shall provide the Association with information regarding the final disposition of a complaint referred pursuant to paragraph (1)(A), but nothing shall be construed to compel a State to release confidential investigation reports or other information protected by State law to the Association.
‘(j) Information Sharing- The Association may share documents, materials, or other information, including confidential and privileged documents, with a State, Federal, or international regulatory agency or enforcement authority, or with NAIC or its designee, provided that the recipient has the authority and agrees to maintain the confidentiality or privileged status of the document, material, or other information.
‘SEC. 324. BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
‘(a) Establishment- There is established the board of directors of the Association (hereafter in this subtitle referred to as the ‘Board’), which shall have authority to govern and supervise all activities of the Association.
‘(b) Powers- The Board shall have such of the powers and authority of the Association as may be specified in the bylaws of the Association.
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Board shall consist of 13 members who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, of whom--
‘(A) 8 shall be State insurance commissioners appointed in the manner provided in paragraph (2);
‘(B) 2 shall be representatives of property and casualty insurance producers;
‘(C) 1 shall be a representative of life or health insurance producers;
‘(D) 1 shall be a representative of property and casualty insurers; and
‘(E) 1 shall be a representative of life or health insurers.
‘(2) STATE INSURANCE REGULATOR REPRESENTATIVES-
‘(A) Before making any appointments pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), the President shall request a list of recommended candidates from NAIC, which shall not be binding on the President. If NAIC fails to submit a list of recommendations within 15 business days of the request, the President may make the requisite appointments without considering the views of NAIC.
‘(B) Not more than 4 members appointed to membership on the Board pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) shall belong to the same political party.
‘(C) If fewer than 8 State insurance commissioners accept appointment to the Board, the President may appoint the remaining State insurance commissioner members of the Board from among individuals who are former State insurance commissioners, provided that any former insurance commissioner so appointed shall not be employed by or have a present direct or indirect financial interest in any insurer, insurance producer, or other entity in the insurance industry other than direct or indirect ownership of, or beneficial interest in, an insurance policy or annuity contract written or sold by an insurer.
‘(3) PRIVATE SECTOR REPRESENTATIVES- In making any appointments pursuant to subparagraphs (B) through (E) of paragraph (1), the President may seek recommendations for candidates from national trade associations representing the category of individuals described, which shall not be binding on the President.
‘(4) STATE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER DEFINED- For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘State insurance commissioner’ means a person who serves in the position in State government, or on the board, commission, or other body that is the principal insurance regulatory authority for the State.
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The term of each Board member shall be for 2 years, except that--
‘(A) the term of--
‘(i) 4 of the State insurance commissioner members of the Board initially appointed under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1);
‘(ii) 1 of the property and casualty insurance producer members of the Board initially appointed under subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1); and
‘(iii) 1 of the insurer representative members of the Board initially appointed under subparagraphs (D) and (E) of paragraph (1),
shall be 1 year, as designated by the President at the time of the nomination of the members;
‘(B) a member of the Board may continue to serve after the expiration of the term to which the member was appointed until a successor is qualified; and
‘(C) any member of the Board appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which the predecessor of the member was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of that term.
‘(2) SUCCESSIVE TERMS- Board members may be reappointed to successive terms.
‘(e) Initial Appointments- The appointment of initial Board members shall be made no later than 90 days after the date of enactment of the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2013.
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Board shall meet at the call of the chairperson, as requested in writing to the chairperson by at least 5 members of the Board, or as otherwise provided by the bylaws of the Association.
‘(2) QUORUM REQUIRED- A majority of directors shall constitute a quorum.
‘(3) VOTING- Decisions of the Board shall require the approval of a majority of all directors present at a meeting, a quorum being present.
‘(4) INITIAL MEETING- The Board shall hold its first meeting not later than 45 days after the date on which all initial members of the Board have been appointed.
‘(g) Restriction on Confidential Information- Members of the Board appointed pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection (c) shall not have access to confidential information received by the Association in connection with complaints, investigations, or disciplinary proceedings involving insurance producers.
‘(h) Ethics and Conflicts of Interest- The Board shall issue and enforce an ethical conduct code to address permissible and prohibited activities of Board members and Association officers, employees, agents, or consultants. The code shall, at a minimum, include provisions that prohibit any Board member or Association officer, employee, agent or consultant from--
‘(1) engaging in unethical conduct in the course of performing Association duties;
‘(2) participating in the making or influencing the making of any Association decision, the outcome of which he or she knows or had reason to know would have a reasonably foreseeable material financial effect, distinguishable from its effect on the publicly generally, on the person or a member of his or her immediate family;
‘(3) accepting any gift from any person or entity other than the Association that is given because of the position held by the person in the Association;
‘(4) making political contributions to any person or entity on behalf of the Association; and
‘(5) lobbying or paying someone to lobby on behalf of the Association.
‘SEC. 325. OFFICERS.
‘(a) Positions- The officers of the Association shall consist of a chairperson and a vice chairperson of the Board, an executive director, secretary, and treasurer of the Association, and such other officers and assistant officers as may be deemed necessary.
‘(b) Manner of Selection- Each officer of the Board and the Association shall be elected or appointed at such time, in such manner, and for such terms as may be prescribed in the bylaws of the Association.
‘SEC. 326. BYLAWS, RULES, AND DISCIPLINARY ACTION.
‘(a) Adoption and Amendment of Bylaws and Rules-
‘(1) COPY REQUIRED TO BE FILED- The Board shall submit to the President and NAIC any proposed bylaw or rules of the Association or any proposed amendment to the bylaws or rules, accompanied by a concise general statement of the basis and purpose of such proposal. Rules shall be promulgated in accordance with the Federal Administrative Procedure Act.
‘(2) EFFECTIVE DATE- Any proposed bylaw or rule or proposed amendment to the bylaws or rules shall take effect, after notice published in the Federal Register and opportunity for comment, upon such date as the Association may designate, unless suspended under subsection (c) of section 330.
‘(b) Disciplinary Action by the Association-
‘(1) SPECIFICATION OF CHARGES- In any proceeding to determine whether membership shall be denied, suspended, revoked, or not renewed or to determine whether a member of the Association should be placed on probation (in this section referred to as a ‘disciplinary action’) or whether to assess fines or monetary penalties, the Association shall bring specific charges, notify the member of the charges, give the member an opportunity to defend against the charges, and keep a record.
‘(2) SUPPORTING STATEMENT- A determination to take disciplinary action shall be supported by a statement setting forth--
‘(A) any act or practice in which the member has been found to have been engaged;
‘(B) the specific provision of this subtitle, the rules or regulations under this subtitle, or the rules of the Association which any such act or practice is deemed to violate; and
‘(C) the sanction imposed and the reason for the sanction.
‘(3) INELIGIBILITY OF PRIVATE SECTOR REPRESENTATIVES- Members of the Board appointed pursuant to section 324(c)(3) shall not participate in any disciplinary action, and shall not have access to confidential information concerning the actions.
‘SEC. 327. POWERS.
‘In addition to all the powers conferred upon a nonprofit corporation by the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act, the Association shall have the following powers:
‘(1) To establish and collect such membership fees as the Association finds necessary to impose to cover the costs of its operations.
‘(2) To adopt, amend, and repeal bylaws and rules governing the conduct of Association business and performance of its duties.
‘(3) To establish procedures for providing notice and opportunity for comment pursuant to section 326(a).
‘(4) To enter into and perform such agreements as necessary to carry out its duties.
‘(5) To hire employees, professionals, or specialists, and elect or appoint officers, and to fix their compensation, define their duties and give them appropriate authority to carry out the purposes of this subtitle, and determine their qualification; and to establish the Association’s personnel policies and programs relating to, among other things, conflicts of interest, rates of compensation, and qualifications of personnel.
‘(6) To borrow money.
‘(7) To secure funding for such amounts as the Association determines to be necessary and appropriate to organize and begin operations of the Association, which shall be treated as loans to be repaid by the Association with interest at market rate, except that the Board shall not secure funding from an insurer, insurance producer, or insurance association, but may secure funding from NAIC.
‘SEC. 328. REPORT BY ASSOCIATION.
‘(a) In General- As soon as practicable after the close of each fiscal year, the Association shall submit to the President and NAIC a written report regarding the conduct of its business, and the exercise of the other rights and powers granted by this subtitle, during such fiscal year.
‘(b) Financial Statements- Each report submitted under subsection (a) with respect to any fiscal year shall include financial statements setting forth the financial position of the Association at the end of such fiscal year and the results of its operations (including the source and application of its funds) for such fiscal year.
‘SEC. 329. LIABILITY OF THE ASSOCIATION AND THE DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, AND EMPLOYEES OF THE ASSOCIATION.
‘(a) In General- The Association shall not be deemed to be an insurer or insurance producer within the meaning of any State law, rule, regulation, or order regulating or taxing insurers, insurance producers, or other entities engaged in the business of insurance, including provisions imposing premium taxes, regulating insurer solvency or financial condition, establishing guaranty funds and levying assessments, or requiring claims settlement practices.
‘(b) Liability of Directors, Officers, and Employees- No director, officer, or employee of the Association shall be personally liable to any person for any action taken or omitted in good faith in any matter within the scope of their responsibilities in connection with the Association.
‘SEC. 330. PRESIDENTIAL OVERSIGHT.
‘(a) Removal of Board- If the President determines that the Association is acting in a manner contrary to the interests of the public or the purposes of this subtitle or has failed to perform its duties under this subtitle, the President may remove the entire existing Board for the remainder of the term to which the members of the Board were appointed and appoint, in accordance with section 324 and with the advice and consent of the Senate, new members to fill the vacancies on the Board for the remainder of the terms.
‘(b) Removal of Board Member- The President may remove a member of the Board only for neglect of duty or malfeasance in office.
‘(c) Suspension of Rules or Actions- Following notice to the Board, the President, or a person designated by the President for such purpose, may suspend the effectiveness of any rule, or prohibit any action, of the Association which the President or the designee determines is contrary to the purposes of this subtitle.
‘SEC. 331. RELATIONSHIP TO STATE LAW.
‘(a) Preemption of State Laws- State laws, regulations, provisions, or other actions purporting to regulate insurance producers shall be preempted to the extent provided in subsection (b).
‘(b) Prohibited Actions-
‘(1) IN GENERAL- No State shall--
‘(A) impede the activities of, take any action against, or apply any provision of law or regulation arbitrarily or discriminatorily to, any insurance producer because that insurance producer or any affiliate plans to become, has applied to become, or is a member of the Association;
‘(B) impose any requirement upon a member of the Association that it pay fees different from those required to be paid to that State were it not a member of the Association; or
‘(C) impose any continuing education requirements on any nonresident insurance producer that is a member of the Association.
‘(2) STATES OTHER THAN A HOME STATE- No State, other than a member’s home State, shall--
‘(A) impose any licensing, personal or corporate qualifications, education, training, experience, residency, continuing education, or bonding requirement upon a member of the Association that is different from the criteria for membership in the Association or renewal of such membership;
‘(B) impose any requirement upon a member of the Association that it be licensed, registered, or otherwise qualified to do business or remain in good standing in the State, including any requirement that the insurance producer register as a foreign company with the secretary of state or equivalent State official;
‘(C) require that a member of the Association submit to a criminal history record check as a condition of doing business in the State; or
‘(D) impose any licensing, registration, or appointment requirements upon a member of the Association, or require a member of the Association to be authorized to operate as an insurance producer, in order to sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance for commercial property and casualty risks to an insured with risks located in more than one State, if the member is licensed or otherwise authorized to operate in the State where the insured maintains its principal place of business and the contract of insurance insures risks located in that State.
‘(3) PRESERVATION OF STATE DISCIPLINARY AUTHORITY- Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit a State from investigating and taking appropriate disciplinary action, including suspension or revocation of authority of an insurance producer to do business in a State, in accordance with State law and that is not inconsistent with the provisions of this section, against a member of the Association as a result of a complaint or for any alleged activity, regardless of whether the activity occurred before or after the insurance producer commenced doing business in the State pursuant to Association membership.
‘SEC. 332. COORDINATION WITH OTHER REGULATORS.
‘(a) Coordination With State Insurance Regulators- The Association may--
‘(1) establish a central clearinghouse, or utilize NAIC or any other appropriate entity as a central clearinghouse, through which members of the Association may pursuant to section 323(e) disclose their intent to operate in 1 or more States and pay the licensing fees to the appropriate States; and
‘(2) establish a national database for the collection of regulatory information concerning the activities of insurance producers or contract with NAIC or any other entity to utilize such a database.
‘(b) Coordination With the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority- The Association shall coordinate with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in order to ease any administrative burdens that fall on persons that are members of both associations, consistent with the requirements of this subtitle and the Federal securities laws.
‘SEC. 333. RIGHT OF ACTION.
‘(a) Right of Action- Any person aggrieved by a decision or action of the Association may, after reasonably exhausting available avenues for resolution within the Association, commence a civil action in an appropriate United States district court, and obtain all appropriate relief.
‘(b) Association Interpretations- In any such action, the court shall give appropriate weight to the Association’s interpretation of its bylaws and this subtitle.
‘SEC. 334. DEFINITIONS.
‘For purposes of this subtitle, the following definitions shall apply:
‘(1) BUSINESS ENTITY- The term ‘business entity’ means a corporation, association, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or other legal entity.
‘(2) HOME STATE- The term ‘home State’ means the State in which the insurance producer maintains its principal place of residence or business and is licensed to act as an insurance producer.
‘(3) INSURANCE- The term ‘insurance’ means any product, other than title insurance or bail bonds, defined or regulated as insurance by the appropriate State insurance regulatory authority.
‘(4) INSURANCE PRODUCER- The term ‘insurance producer’ means any insurance agent or broker, excess or surplus lines broker or agent, insurance consultant, limited insurance representative, and any other individual or entity that sells, solicits, or negotiates policies of insurance or offers advice, counsel, opinions or services related to insurance.
‘(5) PRINCIPAL PLACE OF BUSINESS- The term ‘principal place of business’ means the State in which an insurance producer maintains the headquarters of the insurance producer and, in the case of a business entity, where high-level officers of the entity direct, control, and coordinate the business activities of the business entity.
‘(6) PRINCIPAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE- The term ‘principal place of residence’ means the State in which an insurance producer resides for the greatest number of days during a calendar year.
‘(7) STATE- The term ‘State’ includes any State, the District of Columbia, any territory of the United States, and Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
‘(8) STATE LAW-
‘(A) IN GENERAL- The term ‘State law’ includes all laws, decisions, rules, regulations, or other State action having the effect of law, of any State.
‘(B) LAWS APPLICABLE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA- A law of the United States applicable only to or within the District of Columbia shall be treated as a State law rather than a law of the United States.’.
(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of contents for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act is amended by striking the items relating to subtitle C of title III and inserting the following new items:
‘Subtitle C--National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers
‘Sec. 321. National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers.
‘Sec. 322. Purpose.
‘Sec. 323. Membership.
‘Sec. 324. Board of directors.
‘Sec. 325. Officers.
‘Sec. 326. Bylaws, rules, and disciplinary action.
‘Sec. 327. Powers.
‘Sec. 328. Report by Association.
‘Sec. 329. Liability of the Association and the directors, officers, and employees of the Association.
‘Sec. 330. Presidential oversight.
‘Sec. 331. Relationship to State law.
‘Sec. 332. Coordination with other regulators.
‘Sec. 333. Right of action.
‘Sec. 334. Definitions.’.