WASHINGTON MetLife has made clear its objection to regulators designating the firm as a "systemically important financial institution," but on Monday the life insurer had the opportunity to air its concerns directly.
The Financial Stability Oversight Council chaired by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew held an oral hearing with the firm that had received a preliminary designation on Sept. 4, according to a summary of the non-public meeting released by the Treasury Department. By law, the FSOC can decide to subject certain large and complex nonbanks considered systemically risky to a new Federal Reserve supervision regime. (Treasury did not refer to the firm by name; companies under the FSOC's review are publicly identified only when their designation is final.)
"The company requested written and oral hearings, and the council granted the request. Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the council will notify the company of any final designation within 60 days after today's hearing," the Treasury summary said.
MetLife requested the hearing after its chief executive, Stephen A. Kandarian, said in a statement following the council's designation that the company "strongly disagrees" with the regulators' decision.
If its designation becomes final, MetLife would join Prudential Financial, GE Capital and American International Group as nonbank firms to get the formal SIFI label.
Treasury said the council, in a separate closed-door meeting, had voted not to rescind Prudential's designation. The FSOC is required to annually re-evaluate its designations.