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Federal panel removes AIG's systemic risk label

  • AIG was designated a systemically important financial institution in 2013 after its near-collapse and taxpayer bailout during the financial crisis.
  • The SIFI label brings with it extra capital and regulatory requirements, and applies to banks with more than $50 billion of assets as well as AIG and Prudential.
AIG headquarters in New York City.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
AIG headquarters in New York City.

Regulators on Friday released American International Group from the special government oversight they designated for it in the aftermath of its near collapse in the 2008 financial crisis.

"The Council has worked diligently to thoroughly reevaluate whether AIG poses a risk to financial stability," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "This action demonstrates our commitment to act decisively to remove any designation if a company does not pose a threat to financial stability."

In April, President Trump ordered a review of the council's authority to designate systemically important financial institutions as part of his push to roll back crisis-era financial regulations.

The so-called SIFI label brings with it heightened capital and regulatory requirements, something insurer MetLife fought in court to remove. General Electric also shed the label after selling off most of its GE Capital finance businesses. Prudential Financial is another non-bank SIFI.

Six members of the council voted in favor of removing AIG's designation including Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Three members voted against doing so, including Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. SEC Chair Jay Clayton recused himself and did not vote.

AIG has been the target of billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, who holds a 4.76 percent stake. Earlier this year he backed off demands to break up the company after it sold some assets and appointed Brian Duperrault as chief executive to succeed Peter Hancock.

The financial stability council is a 10-member group of regulators created under the 2010 Dodd Frank financial reforms to impose stricter regulatory standards on financial institutions that could pose a danger to the system if they collapsed.

AIG was rescued by the government in September 2008, ultimately requiring $182 billion to avoid collapse after losses on risky derivatives. The money was paid back to taxpayers in four years.

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