MetLife Inc. today asked a federal appeals court to give the Trump administration time to review the government’s process for designating systemically important financial institutions.
MetLife filed a motion seeking a freeze on the case, MetLife Inc. v. Financial Stability Oversight Council, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin conducts a 180-day review of the FSOC SIFI designation process. President Donald Trump issued the memorandum requesting the review Friday.
MetLife told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that the Trump administration seems to share MetLife’s concerns about the transparency and fairness of the SIFI designation process. Mnuchin’s review could lead the administration to withdraw support for the process, and the court should give the administration a chance to change its position, MetLife said.
“As this court has recognized, ‘[a] change in administration brought about by the people casting their votes is a perfectly reasonable basis for an executive agency’s reappraisal’ of its positions,” MetLife said, citing a 2012 D.C. Circuit ruling.
Even if the administration continues to oppose MetLife, the Treasury secretary’s findings could shape how the court sees the case, MetLife said.
Eugene Scalia, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, led the legal team that filed the MetLife motion.
Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a group that supports the FSOC SIFI designation process, said he opposes the motion.
“MetLife is merely forum shopping and trying to substitute a political decision it is influencing for an independent judicial opinion that it cannot control and that will be based on the facts and law,” Kelleher said in a statement.
FSOC told MetLife it was a SIFI in December 2014.