MetLife Inc., the biggest U.S. life insurer, was tentatively categorized as a systemically important financial institution (SIFI) by a panel of regulators, which would subject it to stricter Federal Reserve supervision.
“MetLife strongly disagrees,” Chief Executive Officer Steven Kandarian said today in a statement. “MetLife has served as a source of financial strength and stability during times of economic distress, including the 2008 financial crisis.”
MetLife isn’t ruling out any available remedy to the decision by the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the New York-based insurer said.
The decision is a potential defeat for Kandarian, who worked to avoid the SIFI designation. Kandarian, who has called regulatory uncertainty the primary challenge to meeting profit targets, met with regulators and lawmakers and submitted thousands of pages of supporting documents in opposing the label.
Today’s vote was a proposed designation. The company has 30 days to request a hearing before the FSOC to contest the decision. After a hearing, regulators would hold a final vote on whether to designate MetLife.