MetLife could be designated a systemically important financial institutions (SIFI) as early as next week, Bloomberg News said today, even though the article did not name a source. It said the vote could come as early as the next meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) July 31.
John Nadel, an analyst at Sterne, Agee and Leach in New York, said he was not surprised and that institutional investors had been expecting it. “For some time, it has been just a question of when,” Nadel said.
At a June 24 hearing of the FSC, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew disagreed. He testified that the FSOC process is transparent, and argued that House members and others who criticize it as “opaque” are “simply wrong.”
MetLife has been in Stage Three, the final stage of the FSOC designation process, for more than a year. The FSOC decided to re-evaluate its process for designating insurance companies as SIFIs after running into internal opposition to its ultimate designation of Prudential Financial as SIFI.