Ethics & Compliance

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Ethics & Compliance


Our culture is governed by a strong set of values, ethics, and commitment to integrity.

Ethics and integrity are the foundation of our employees’ roles at MetLife. We have worked to create a culture where every employee takes responsibility for their actions and adopts an ownership mindset. MetLife’s Code of Business Ethics (Code) supports our commitment to building an ethical culture and upholding the highest standards of business conduct, honesty, and integrity. The Code is available in 21 languages and applies to all employees worldwide. Our Code defines MetLife’s expectations for appropriate business conduct and ethical decision-making by employees. Each year, employees pledge that they commit to and comply with the Code. To supplement our Code, we maintain several codes for targeted audiences, including the Financial Management Code of Business Ethics and the MetLife Investments Code of Ethics. Additionally, we maintain a Board of Directors’ Code of Business Ethics, which requires each Director to annually review and subsequently sign an acknowledgment of understanding and compliance.

In 2020, our mandatory training featured MetLife’s Code as the foundation for employee conduct and accountability. The highly interactive, scenario-based training provided examples to bring the Code to life as an everyday tool for making ethical decisions in our daily work. We created an extended course for people managers, which focused on the importance of setting an ethical tone at the top and middle. The training provided additional content on leading by example, fostering a speak-up culture, and appropriately managing conflict of interest risk.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Program

We require MetLife employees to disclose outside business activities and personal relationships that could cause a conflict through our annual Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Program. Our objective is that employees do not put personal gain or benefit ahead of the interests of MetLife, our customers, or our shareholders. Our global COI Disclosure Program requires every employee to complete a COI disclosure questionnaire at the time of hire, as well as annually. The program was highlighted in the 2020 training on the Code to educate employees about the risks of conflicts of interest, proper mitigation techniques, and our disclosure requirements. The program emphasizes transparency and mitigation to manage enterprise risk. We continue to evolve both the program and the COI disclosure tool to address emerging risks and the needs of employees working remotely. 

Read our Code of Conduct >

Read more about MetLife’s Corporate Governance here

Corporate Governance

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We manage our operations with a deep understanding of global and local regulatory structures. By engaging policymakers on the costs and benefits of regulations, we improve our ability to offer customers the products and services they need. We are active in a variety of trade associations, business coalitions, and think tanks throughout the more than 40 markets in which we operate. We serve in a leadership role in many of these organizations. Our involvement allows us to share our sector’s experience and expertise with policymakers and advocate for our customers by ensuring a level playing field across the industry.

MetLife’s Compliance Risk Management program provides ongoing, enterprise-wide evaluation of current and potential compliance risks.

A key component of this program is the development of our Annual Compliance Plan, which enables Corporate Ethics and Compliance to monitor controls that mitigate compliance risks. It also helps to ensure that compliance resources are appropriately deployed.

We monitor and test controls for our key compliance risks to be more consistent in our approach to compliance risk oversight and allow us to focus on local risks in our operations around the world.

We also conduct due diligence for third-party engagements, and we train our compliance employees globally on their oversight responsibilities. This is important because MetLife contracts with many third parties, which have the potential to expose us to compliance risk.

MetLife continually looks for ways to improve our management of compliance risks. We are exploring options to enhance our digital capabilities in this area. While digital technology is used minimally in the compliance field, new tools are now being developed. By combining these new tools with advanced data analytics, in the future there could be opportunities for companies like MetLife to be even more accurate in analyzing compliance risks.

MetLife complies with all applicable laws and regulations to prevent money laundering, which is documented in the company’s Global Anti-Money Laundering Policy. The policy ensures a consistent approach to preventing money laundering, terrorist financing, and sanctions risks at MetLife.

The objective of the policy is to establish guiding principles and global minimum standards to (i) ensure we comply with laws and regulations, trade and economic sanctions programs, and government guidance; (ii) protect the company from being used by money launderers, terrorists, and other criminals for illicit purposes; and (iii) educate employees about identifying money laundering and terrorist financing risks and behavior.

Regulators in many countries are increasingly interested in how financial services companies conduct themselves in each jurisdiction where they do business. In particular, regulators expect companies to ensure that they provide customers with appropriate financial solutions and products for their needs in a straightforward manner.

MetLife’s Global Sales Practices Policy aims to address these concerns. All MetLife sales activities must comply with the basic principle of treating customers fairly. Our Global Sales Practices Policy codifies the key MetLife value of putting the customer at the center of everything we do. Matching each customer’s needs to the correct product is critical to ensuring that customers are treated fairly and that we create lifetime customer value.

MetLife’s Antitrust Guidelines provide basic guidance on antitrust laws in the United States for employees of MetLife and its affiliates. MetLife’s policy is to conduct business in full compliance with antitrust laws. Those laws are designed to preserve and foster free and open competition, reasonable prices, efficient services, and a productive economy. MetLife’s guidelines are intended to ensure that as we compete vigorously, we do so fairly. To help employees protect themselves and the company, we have included guidelines in our Code of Conduct to treat our competitors with respect and comply with competition laws.


Learn more about our commitment and efforts to address the impact of climate change in our statement on climate change.