US regulators propose labeling MetLife as potential risk to financial system; Insurer disputes

Economic Indicators Associated Press

U.S. regulators are proposing to label insurer MetLife Inc. as a potential threat to the financial system, a designation that brings stricter government oversight.

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New York-based MetLife says it "strongly disagrees" with the decision by the Financial Stability Oversight Council on Thursday to propose designating the company as "systemically important." If the designation becomes final, MetLife would have to increase its cushion of capital against losses, limit its use of borrowed money and submit to inspections by examiners. The company would come under the supervision of the Federal Reserve. Its primary regulator now is the state of New York.

The regulators' council, created by Congress after the 2008 financial crisis, is led by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and includes other top regulators such as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.