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WASHINGTON–A panel of the nation’s insurance regulators approved a proposal to relax capital and surplus requirements for life insurers after a hearing yesterday that was slammed by a consumer affairs representative as a “sham.”

Robert Hunter, representing the Consumer Federation of America, Washington, and the Center for Economic Justice, Austin, Texas, ripped into the regulators during a special hearing held here by the capital and surplus working group of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., and suggested the group might withdraw its backing of state-controlled insurance regulation.

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