MetLife won't access Tarp, Genworth denied

MetLife won't access Tarp, Genworth denied

Life insurer MetLife has said it will not be applying for aid from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (Tarp). The news came as one of its competitors, Genworth, was denied government help.

MetLife, has been a federally chartered bank holding company since launching MetLife Bank in 2001, meaning it would have been eligible to apply for funding.

However, responding to queries on whether it would apply for financial aid, the insurer has stressed that it is in good financial shape and would not be seeking a bail-out.

"MetLife is well positioned, with approximately $5bn in excess capital, a strong balance sheet and leading market positions in our core group and individual insurance businesses, where our revenues continue to be healthy," said Robert Henrikson, the firm's chairman, president and chief executive officer.

"MetLife has already taken actions to reinforce its strong financial position, including raising capital in the marketplace. We have therefore decided not to participate in the programme."

MetLife's stance is in stark contrast to Genworth, which tried but failed to access Tarp funds.

The bealaguered life insurance industry has been tipped to become the third industry to access the funds after the banks and auto industry. However, the Office of Thrift Supervision didn't approve the insurer's planned acquisition of a Maple Grove, Minnesota, lender meaning it is not eligible to receive funds.

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