MetLife's share price jumps as its found to be too small to count as too big to fail

 
Billy Bambrough
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MetLife is the largest US life insurer by assets (Source: Getty)

Shares in US insurance giant MetLife surged today after a judge overturned the government's decision that the company is a systemically important financial institution (SIFI).

The ruling to brand MetLife as an SIFI, originally brought in by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), meant it was subjected to increased regulatory oversight and higher capital requirements.

Shares climbed by five per cent in New York by mid afternoon trading.

MetLife has been lobbying against the legislation for a year, though it could now be appealed by the government.

The FSOC powers are granted under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, brought in following the 2008 financial crisis, and means firms are given stricter oversight from the Federal Reserve.

“From the beginning, MetLife has said that its business model does not pose a threat to the financial stability of the United States,” MetLife chief executive Steven Kandarian said in a statement. “This decision is a win for MetLife’s customers, employees and shareholders.”

MetLife rivals AIG and Prudential were both designated SIFI in September 2013.

It's not just banks and insurers that have been branded with the SIFI tag, General Electric was designated a SIFI in July 2013.

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