US regulators label MetLife as potential threat to financial system; company rejects label

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Major insurer MetLife Inc. says U.S. regulators have labeled it as a potential threat to the financial system, a designation that brings stricter government oversight.

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MetLife said Thursday that the Financial Stability Oversight Council has designated the company as "systemically important." As a result, MetLife must increase its cushion of capital against losses, limit its use of borrowed money and submit to inspections by examiners. MetLife will come under the supervision of the Federal Reserve. Its primary regulator now is New York state.

In a statement, New York-based MetLife said it is "disappointed" in the decision and has given the regulators evidence showing it is not systemically important.

MetLife was the third nonbank financial firm to be given the label by the council, a group of top regulators.