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MetLife doesn't see FSOC appeal ruling until later next year


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MetLife doesn't see FSOC appeal ruling until later next year

Afinal ruling on the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council's appeal of thecourt decisionoverturning MetLifeInc.'s designation as a systemicallyimportant financial institution may not happen until sometime nextyear, according to MetLife Chairman and CEO Steve Kandarian.

Kandariantook time to lay out a possible timetable for the appeals process on a conferencecall with analysts May 5 to discuss first-quarter earnings.

Henoted that the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of FSOC, filed its appealApril 8, nine days after the decision by the U.S. District Court for theDistrict of Columbia tooverturn FSOC's designation.

Thecompany's expects that the administration's paperwork will be filed by therequested June 6 date by the Circuit Court, briefings in the fall time periodand oral arguments likely to occur in late 2016 or even in early 2017.

Hedid acknowledge that although an analyst's suggestion of a mid-year 2017decision is "quite reasonable," there's no way to tell for sure howlong a court will take to make a decision.

Kandarianalso sought to silencecritics who assailed supporters of the decision by District Judge Rosemary Collyer that it wasdismantling the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act put in place to prevent financial firmsand/or activities from wreaking havoc on market stability.

"Theright to see the judicialreview is part of the Dodd-Frank Act itself ... We are upholding theprocess established by Dodd-Frank, not undermining it," Kandarian said onthe call.

TheCEO also said that Collyer's "carefully reasoned decision" findingthat FSOC acted in an arbitrary and capricious way in designating MetLife wasnot merely procedural. All 10 counts raised by MetLife can be raised on appeal,according to Kandarian, not just the three counts that the judge decided wereenough to toss the FSOC designation.

Hesaid the decision to separate MetLife's retail business would go forward,noting that the FSOC could always decide to designate MetLife, while alsopointing out that the decision was strategic from a market point of view givenpressures like the long low interest rate environment.