Insurance giant MetLife Inc. might put its banking operations up for sale in order to focus more on its insurance side.

The United States' largest insurance provider has the country's seventh largest bank holdings, according to the Federal Reserve, but wants to avoid the restrictions that came along with the banking industry.

We do not believe it is appropriate for the overwhelming majority of our business to be governed by regulations written for banking institutions, MetLife Chief Executive Steve Kandarian said in a statement.

Its banking unit only represents two percent of its earnings, but could cause increased restrictions and oversight due to the 2008 Dodd-Frank Act. The act allowed for more federal oversight in the aftermath of the banking crisis.

In a highly competitive global insurance marketplace, it is imperative that MetLife be able to operate on a level playing field with other insurance companies, Kandarian said.

The banking business includes savings accounts, certificates of deposits, and money-market accounts. There is no definitive timetable or potential suitor for the sale of the business.

MetLife will announce its second quarter earnings on July 29th.