INSURANCE

MetLife wins extension to resubmit Fed capital plan

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/SCOTT EELLS
METLIFE Inc. was awarded more time to submit a fresh capital plan to the Federal Reserve after attempts to lift its dividend and resume buybacks were twice thwarted by the regulator.
Posted 6/19/12

NEW YORK - MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, got more time to submit a fresh capital plan to the Federal Reserve after attempts to lift its dividend and resume buybacks were twice thwarted by the regulator.

The deadline was moved to Sept. 30 from June 12, The New York-based insurer said in a regulatory filing today.

Chief Executive Officer Steven Kandarian has been selling banking assets to limit oversight from the Fed, which weighs the capital plans of the largest lenders, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Kandarian said in March that the insurer had planned to jettison its banking status by the end of June, a prediction he declined to reiterate in April.

“We can’t say with certainty when the regulatory approval will be forthcoming,” Kandarian said in an April 27 conference call. “We don’t have clarity on our side to be specific about timing.” He said the company would make its next dividend announcement in October.

MetLife has kept its annual dividend at 74 cents a share since 2007.

Prudential Financial Inc., the second-largest life insurer, lifted its annual payout in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The Newark, New Jersey-based company isn’t subject to the same Fed scrutiny.

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