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AIG Is Ready for New Fed Scrutiny: CEO Benmosche

Tuesday, 4 Jun 2013 | 6:41 PM ET
AIG Still 'Too Big to Fail,' Regulators Say
Tuesday, 4 Jun 2013 | 4:32 PM ET
CNBC's Josh Lipton reports on the government's three nonbanks that have been deemed too big to fail. AIG CEO Robert Benmosche discusses how his company plans to deal with the designation.

Being designated "too big to fail" will bring discipline to AIG, CEO Robert Benmosche told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Tuesday.

Benmosche said AIG expected to be named a systemically important financial institution, adding that the company "has been preparing for it over the last year and a half."

"The Fed is looking for banking discipline in the insurance industry," the CEO said. "Banks are very particular about reconciling and balancing all the time, especially before they do things. Insurance companies have a tendency to do things and reconcile after the fact."

Benmosche expects a new level of discipline around policies and procedures.

He doesn't expect that AIG will have to raise additional capital after the Federal Reserve performs its stress test analysis. "We feel pretty confident we have more than enough capital to deal with any expectation," he said.

AIG has an agreement to sell its airplane leasing business for about $5.3 billion to a Chinese consortium, which has until June 14 to close the deal.

(Read More: Regulators Propose Scrutiny of AIG, Prudential, GE Capital)

The deal is further evidence that AIG is "derisking" its business, Benmosche said. The sale will eliminate about $24 billion of the company's debt and is "a chance to show the ratings agencies that we're dealing with our noncore assets," he added.

Higher interest rates also benefit AIG. "Although it will depress the value of our fixed-income securities in our general account, the offset is earnings," Benmosche said.

Higher interest rates will be a negative at some point, particularly for the annuities business, but "for the first 100 to 200 basis points, it's going to be a big positive not only for AIG" but most insurers, he said.

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