General Electric’s (GE) GE Capital financing arm on Thursday asked the U.S. government to stop designating it as a “systemically important financial institution,” a label given to companies considered “too big to fail.”
GE Capital CEO Keith Sherin said in a statement that the unit had shrunk to the point where it no longer meets the criteria for the designation, which can trigger possible requirements for stricter oversight and holding more capital.
The application came the day after MetLife (MET) won a court and regulatory battle over its designation.
Long an industrial company, General Electric has been working to shrink GE Capital and said last April that it would focus on technology and manufacturing.
GE Capital, which received the “systemically important” label in 2013, said it had more than halved its assets to $265 billion from $549 billion at the end of 2012.
The unit said it had ended all consumer lending in the United States, reduced real estate debt by more than 75%, eliminated its real estate equity and reduced outstanding commercial paper by almost 90%.
In October, GE Capital said it hoped to apply to the Financial Stability Oversight Council, consisting of the heads of the U.S. financial regulatory agencies, for “dedesignation” in the first quarter.
“Our submission details the complete transformation of GE Capital,” Sherin said. “Our plan to change our business model, shrink the company and reduce our risk profile has been successful.”