Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) Resource Center
For years, the financial services industry has been challenged by the fragmented collection of identifiers used to designate an entity as a party to a financial transaction. The financial crisis in 2008 underscored the need for a single entity code to enable transaction counterparties and regulators to analyze the monetary exposure and risk profile of counterparties. As a result, the securities industry undertook a project to create a unique code—the legal entity identifier (LEI)—designed to provide transparency of counterparties to financial transactions.
In 2010, ICI joined with an industry coalition to address regulatory proposals from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), as well as a statement of policy from the US Treasury’s Office of Financial Research (OFR), aimed at requiring financial counterparties to acquire and use LEIs when completing transactions. Since its inception, the coalition has grown to include a global constituency of market participants, trade associations, and related stakeholders. The coalition initiated and maintains its outreach to regulators and others promoting the implementation of a single, globally accepted LEI for financial counterparties.
In 2012, as recommended by the industry coalition, the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) partnered with the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) to implement a system to issue LEIs compliant with ISO Standard 17442, Financial Services—Legal Entity Identifier (LEI). The DTCC/SWIFT portal (now known as the Global Markets Entity Identifier or GMEI Utility) began issuing identifiers in August 2012.
Oversight of the governance principles for the global LEI is completed through an FSB-sanctioned Regulatory Oversight Committee (ROC) comprising more than 80 regulators from more than 50 countries and including international regulators such as the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Oversight of the issuance of LEIs is done by the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), which is authorized by the FSB and headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. The GLEIF establishes rules and standards that each authorized entity (known as a Local Operating Unit, or LOU) must follow when issuing an LEI.