Jeff Etherington, a New York-based partner in Edwards Wildman's
Insurance and Reinsurance Department, commented on how the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has broadened its jurisdiction to investigate whether foreign reinsurers are prepared for a new federal sanctions law targeting Iran's nuclear ambitions in Law360. In the article, "NY Sets Example By Probing Foreign Reinsurers Over Iran
," Etherington said, "There's a clearer path for fines relating to sanctions and money laundering for the state when it goes after banks. I think it's harder for the DFS to fine insurers over OFAC sanctions violations, not to say they couldn't negotiate something." According to Etherington, sophisticated reinsurers with active compliance departments will be updating policies, increasing training and creating reporting mechanisms, and might also review existing contracts and see if they understand enough about business being ceded to them.