What will it take to be de-designated as a systemically important financial institution by the Financial Stability Oversight Council? We will need to wait longer for the answer to that burning question as, despite a restructuring that will slice away most of its financing arm, General Electric was not able to shed its SIFI tag during an anual review last week.
At a July 31 FSOC meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, American International Group and General Electric Capital Corporation had their status as nonbank financial companies designated as SIFIs re-confirmed. Singled out for increased regulatory scrutiny because their size and scope make insolvency a threat to the broader financial marketplace, the two firms received the SIFI label in 2013, joining similarly designated banks. SIFIs are required to conduct regular stress tests, prepare credit exposure reports, and draft “living wills” that document resolution and liquidation plans. They may also face enhanced prudential standards.
In April, GE announced plans to sell and divest the majority of GE Capital’s assets, shrink its systemic footprint, exit consumer lending, and retain only business lines that support the parent company’s core industrial businesses. Last month, the Federal Reserve approved the two-phase execution of that effort. If it is still designated by the FSOC prior to January 1, 2018, GE Capital would be required to comply with liquidity risk-management, general risk-management, capital-planning, and stress-testing requirements, as well as restrictions on intercompany transactions.
The GE Capital shrink-down, however, hadn’t advanced enough for FSOC members to rescind the SIFI designation. AIG’s designation also failed to change after the annual review. Neither company protested the decision.