MetLife Victory an ‘Embarrassment’ for FSOC, But Impact Unclear
By John Heltman
WASHINGTON — The DC District Court’s surprise ruling Wednesday throwing out an interagency council’s designation of the insurance giant MetLife as a “systemically important financial institution” is undoubtedly a blow to regulators, but its practical impact may be limited for now. The Financial Stability Oversight Council has designated just four nonbanks as SIFIs, and MetLife was the only one to file a lawsuit protesting it. But there are no other designations on the immediate horizon, suggesting the FSOC has time to see this played out in court if the council — as is likely — appeals the ruling. “It’s a profound embarrassment and a political hit” for the FSOC, “but practically FSOC was not planning any near-term designations anyway,” said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner at Federal Financial Analytics. “This ruling doesn’t avert anything that might otherwise have happened.”