MetLife Inc. says it is giving up on the idea of trying to continue offering banking services in the current regulatory environment.
MetLife, New York, (NYSE:MET) plans to continue to offer residential mortgages through its MetLife Home Loans business, but it is exploring the possibility of selling the depository business of its MetLife Bank N.A. unit.
The unit provides savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts.
MetLife Bank ended the first quarter with about $16 billion in assets and $9.3 billion in deposits, but the company’s focus is on insurance and employee benefits, and a bank holding company structure is no longer appropriate, the company says.
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MetLife Bank began offering retail savings products through the Internet in 2001, and it started a MetLife Home Loans division in 2008.
In June 2008, the bank acquired EverBank Reverse Mortgage L.L.C., Bloomfield, N.J., and the residential mortgage origination and servicing business of First Horizon National Corp., Memphis, Tenn.
Although MetLife performed well during the recent financial crisis and did not need to accept help from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Capital Purchase Program, it has been one of the companies getting extra investor attention as federal financial services regulators implement the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.