The top U.S. financial risk watchdog pledged to revise the procedures used to designate firms as super-risky and make them more transparent on Wednesday, after a flood of criticism from insurers and asset managers that the process was too opaque.

Staff read out a number of proposals at a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), which acts to identify which parts of the financial system are "too big to fail."

The proposals would change some of the procedures under which the council singles out financial firms as "systemically important," and therefore in need of closer regulatory scrutiny.

"The intent of these proposed changes is to let companies know as soon as possible where they stand," said Patrick Pinschmidt, the FSOC's deputy assistant secretary.

Insurer MetLife this month filed a lawsuit against the FSOC after it was designated as a systemically important firm, a tag it says it does not deserve.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who presides over the FSOC, said that he wanted to make a decision about the changes "in the near future or no later than our next meeting."

The council was set up after the 2007-09 financial meltdown and groups the country's top regulators. It was given the power, under the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law, to designate firms as systemically important and in need of tougher oversight, even if they are not banks.

MetLife became the third insurer to be branded as super-risky, after Prudential and AIG, which needed a $182 billion taxpayer bailout during the financial crisis.

The FSOC said it will consider changes to provide firms with more notice when they are being weighed for designation, to give more transparency to the broader public. It also said it will consider possible changes to improve the annual re-evaluation of its designations.