It is really a simple concept but it meets a number of needs – assign every legal entity engaged in financial transactions a unique identifier and immediately firms will be able to more efficiently track counterparties to trades, streamline processing capabilities and improve risk management. While financial institutions have long employed internal and public identifiers for these purposes, the lack of a uniform global standard has limited the value of this reference data to enhance market transparency and mitigate systemic risk.
Following the 2008 financial crisis, regulators and industry participants have come to agree on the need to develop a global solution that allows transactions to be tracked across financial markets and multiple jurisdictions. Now that there is widespread support for creating a uniform legal entity identifier (LEI), policymakers are engaged with stakeholders globally to address the challenges and potential obstacles of transforming this concept into reality.
Download the Congressional Testimony: The Legal Entity Identifier: what it is, when it’s due, and what it means