Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — Regulators are close to a final decision to label MetLife Inc. systemically important, two people with knowledge of the matter said, setting up a potential legal battle with the country's largest life insurer.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council is planning to meet Dec. 18 to vote on whether to designate MetLife and subject it to Federal Reserve oversight, according to the people, who requested anonymity because the information isn't public. The council first proposed the designation in September by a 9-0 vote, with one member voting "present." MetLife challenged the decision at a Nov. 3 hearing before the panel.

MetLife Chief Executive Officer Steven Kandarian has lobbied to avoid the extra oversight and called regulatory uncertainty the primary challenge to meeting profit targets. After the September decision, he said the company "is not ruling out any of the available remedies" under the Dodd-Frank law, without being specific.

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