(Adds Treasury statement)
By Douwe Miedema
WASHINGTON Aug 20 The top U.S. financial risk
council has gathered enough evidence to decide whether insurer
MetLife should be designated as a systemically important
firm, a source familiar with the situation said.
Closing the evidentiary record is the last formal step
before the Financial Stability Oversight Council can vote on
whether to designate MetLife with the tag.
The tag is applied to large firms whose failure could
threaten financial markets, and it brings far greater scrutiny
by financial regulators, as well as new capital requirements.
The risk council later on Wednesday said it had closed the
evidentiary record on a "non-bank financial company," but it
does not name the firms in the process.
MetLife declined to comment.
The FSOC is chaired by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and is
comprised of the heads of other top financial regulatory
agencies, including Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and
Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White.
The panel was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street
reform law to monitor for potential emerging threats to market
stability across regulatory agencies.
If FSOC members ultimately vote to propose Metlife for
designation, the firm can still appeal before the panel and,
eventually, before a U.S. court.
The FSOC has already designated as systemically important
two other large insurers - Prudential Financial Inc and
American International Group Inc - as well as General
Electric Co's GE Capital unit.
A potential vote on whether to designate Metlife has not
been announced publicly.
(Additional reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Meredith
Mazzilli, Eric Walsh and Leslie Adler)