U.S. regulators are poised to label MetLife a potential threat to the financial system, subjecting the insurer to oversight by the Federal Reserve, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
A decision by the Financial Stability Oversight Council may come as early as July 31, when the panel is tentatively planning to meet, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process isn't public. The vote could be delayed briefly because the council hasn't formally closed its review of the company, the people said.
MetLife, the biggest U.S. life insurer, could be subjected to stricter capital, leverage and liquidity requirements as a result of Fed supervision. The company has been under consideration as systemically important for more than a year, and its executives have met more than 10 times with council staff members to argue it doesn't pose a risk.
John Calagna, a spokesman for New York-based MetLife, declined to comment. Suzanne Elio, a Treasury spokeswoman, declined to comment. The council's rules prohibit it from disclosing the names of companies unless a designation is made.
MetLife shares fell as much as 1.8 percent to $54.51. The shares traded at $55.47 at 3:34 p.m. in New York.
The council vote would be a proposed designation, and MetLife would have 30 days to request a hearing before the FSOC to contest the decision. After a hearing, the regulators would hold a final vote on whether to designate MetLife.