Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, chairman of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (AP Photos)

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) started the clock ticking on the six-month process for designating a non-bank as systemically significant (SIFI) on Friday.

Ryan Schoen and others at Washington Analysis said in an investor’s note that, “While FSOC did not disclose which companies were considered in today’s meeting, we expect the list to be short (probably no more than five to seven institutions), including, but not limited to, AIG, MetLife, Prudential, and General Electric.”

In a statement to reporters, a Treasury Department spokesman confirmed the decision.

The process is called the “third stage” of determining whether an institution should be designated SIFI.

According to Schoen it gives the companies an opportunity to respond to the request for information and to request a hearing to contest the proposed designation. 

Schoen said that, based on the timelines laid out in the statute and regulations, Washington Analysis expects the final designations to come in either in December or in the first quarter of 2013.

Before the FSOC publicly announces the final determinations, it will provide the nonbank financial company formal notice of at least one business day Schoen said.

A spokesman for MetLife declined comment. AIG and Prudential did not respond to requests for comment.

However, the spokesman noted that until the sale of its bank to GE Capital is approved, MetLife is already supervision by the Federal Reserve Board as a bank holding company.

Under Sec. 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Council may designate nonbank financial companies for supervision by the Federal Reserve System under enhanced prudential standards if it determines such companies could pose a threat to U.S. financial stability.

UPDATE:

AIG confirmed this morning that it had received a notice that it is under consideration by the FSOC to be designated as a SIFI, as noted late Friday in an investor’s note by Washington Analysis.

AIG confirmed the Washington Analysis comment that the FSOC “notice of consideration” informed AIG that it will be reviewed in Stage 3 of the process described in the Council’s interpretive guidance for nonbank financial company determinations and that the notice is a preliminary state and “does not constitute notice of a proposed determination.”