MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Steven A. Kandarian issued the following statement today after the company was notified by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) that it had reached “Stage 3” in the process to determine whether MetLife would be named a non-bank Systemically Important Financial Institution or SIFI:
“I do not believe that MetLife is a systemically important financial institution. The Dodd-Frank Act defines a SIFI as a company whose failure ‘could pose a threat to the financial stability of the United States.’ Not only does exposure to MetLife not threaten the financial system, but I cannot think of a single firm that would be threatened by its exposure to MetLife.
“The life insurance industry is a source of financial stability. Even during periods of financial stress, the long-term nature of our liabilities insulates us against bank-like ‘runs’ and the need to sell off assets.
“To be clear, I support prudent regulation of the life insurance industry. After all, we are financially liable for insolvencies through the state-based guaranty funds. What I do not support is a regulatory system that creates an unlevel playing field.“If only a handful of large life insurers are named SIFIs and subjected to capital rules designed for banks, our ability to issue guarantees would be constrained. We would have to raise the price of the products we offer, reduce the amount of risk we take on, or stop offering certain products altogether. “We look forward to working with FSOC on the best way to fulfill its obligation to mitigate systemic risk.” MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com. Forward-Looking Statements This press release may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective services or products, future performance or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results.