Fitch: Court Decision on MetLife's SIFI Designation a Credit Neutral

CHICAGO--()--Fitch Ratings views the federal court decision to strike down MetLife's designation as a non-bank systemically important financial institution (SIFI) as having no impact on the ratings assigned to MetLife (senior debt rated 'A-'). As a non-bank SIFI, MetLife has been subject to additional regulatory oversight by the Federal Reserve.

MetLife was designated in 2014 by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) as a non-bank SIFI subject to regulation by the Federal Reserve and to enhanced supervision and prudential standards. Today's federal court decision was in response to MetLife's appeal of the SIFI designation, which argued that the SIFI designation process was flawed.

Fitch viewed the SIFI designation as neutral to the ratings assigned to MetLife as details regarding the enhanced supervision and prudential standards, including capital requirements, have been unclear. While enhanced capital standards can lead to a stronger balance sheet, which can be a ratings positive, they also can hurt competitiveness, which can be a ratings negative. Accordingly, Fitch views today's federal court decision as having no impact on MetLife's ratings.

Fitch does not expect today's court ruling to impact MetLife's plan to spin-off a substantial portion of its U.S. Retail business and, as a result, the ratings on MetLife's insurance subsidiaries that will be included in the spin-off remain on Rating Watch Negative.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Bradley Ellis, CFA
Director
+1-312-368-2089
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
70 W. Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60602
or
Secondary Analyst
Douglas L. Meyer, CFA
Managing Director
+1-312-368-2061
or
Media Relations
Hannah James, New York, + 1 646-582-4947
hannah.james@fitchratings.com

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Bradley Ellis, CFA
Director
+1-312-368-2089
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
70 W. Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60602
or
Secondary Analyst
Douglas L. Meyer, CFA
Managing Director
+1-312-368-2061
or
Media Relations
Hannah James, New York, + 1 646-582-4947
hannah.james@fitchratings.com