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Prudential May Be Close to Shedding ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ Label

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Prudential Financial Inc. could shed the nonbank “systemically important financial institution” (SIFI) label that the U.S. government slapped on it after the 2008 financial crisis as soon as next week, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council has been considering freeing the Newark, New Jersey-based insurer from the heightened oversight that comes with being “too big to fail” for months. A vote on the matter might come Tuesday, when the panel is scheduled to meet in Washington, said the person who asked not to be named because a decision hasn’t yet been announced.

(Related: Prudential’s SIFI Status Is Still Grist for FSOC Talks)

FSOC, whose members include the leaders of the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Securities and Exchange Commission, designated Prudential as a nonbank SIFI in 2013. It’s the only nonbank that still carries the label after regulators freed insurers American International Group Inc. and MetLife Inc., as well as General Electric Co.’s financial unit, from the designation in recent years.

The agenda for FSOC’s meeting next week says members plan “an update on the annual reevaluation of the designation of a nonbank financial company.”

A Treasury spokeswomen didn’t immediately return a request for comment, while a Prudential spokeswoman declined to comment.

Prudential has been laying the groundwork to escape the too-big-to-fail tag. It was helped by a shift in the political climate with the election of President Donald Trump, who announced a review of Dodd-Frank rules months after taking office. The FSOC was created by the Dodd-Frank law to better monitor the financial system and help prevent another crisis.

General Electric worked to shed billions in lending assets to help drop the SIFI tag, which was lifted in 2016. MetLife won a court challenge against FSOC that year, a decision that the Trump administration declined to appeal. AIG, which was at the center of the last crisis and received a $182.3 billion government bailout, was freed of the SIFI tag last year.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Friday that FSOC members might vote on Prudential’s designation as soon as next week.

— Read GE Shortfall Just Part of Insurance Industry’s $100 Billion Gapon ThinkAdvisor.

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