In money terms, they received next to nothing. It was simply a play to get out of bank regulations and capital requirements, something that they will likely not avoid as a SIFI. It is also a way to focus on core business. It is the same with the mortgage unit, which they have essentially dissolved and by doing so had to take charges of $100M or so, with no offset. To bad, they were very profitable for the size. Met made a small bank investment just before the 2008 financial disaster and it paid for itself 4 times over within 1 quarter. It would have been the same profitability over the last couple years as the spread difference has been significant.
The move in my opinion reflects the recent shift (last 5-10 yrs) in MetLife culture, short term reaction over long term investment. In the grand scheme of things, these transactions (MetLife Bank overall) are immaterial to the giant that is MetLife, but it was a layer of icing on the cake wiped away.
US-based GE Capital Retail Bank has acquired MetLife Bank’s deposit base and online deposits business, for an undisclosed sum.
As part of the acquisition, nearly $6.4bn in bank deposits, 40 employees, and an established online banking platform have been transferred to GE Capital Retail Bank.
Commenting on the deal, GE Capital retail bank and retail finance business CEO Margaret Keane said the acquisition will enable the firm to create a stronger, more diversified funding base and invest in core, high performing businesses.
"We will be able to leverage our existing infrastructure and capabilities to seamlessly integrate MetLife's online deposit business and serve these valued customers," Keane added.
MetLife chairman, president and CEO Steven Kandarian said the transaction with GE Capital is a significant step in the process of exiting retail banking and allows MetLife to maintain its strategic focus as a global insurance and employee benefits leader.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has approved the transaction on 12 December 2012, subsequently; MetLife has initiated necessary administrative steps to deregister as a bank holding company.
US underwriter MetLife delivers insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, to more than 90 million customers through its subsidiaries and affiliates and trades in the US, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.