GLEIF | Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation

What is GLEIF and when was it founded?

The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) was established in June 2014, by the Financial Stability Board. The foundation is supported and looked after by the Regulatory Oversight Committee an organisation representing public authorities from around the world that have joined to drive forward transparency within the global financial markets.  GLEIFs’ tasks being to support the implementation and use of the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), as a supra-national not-for-profit organisation with its headquarters based in Switzerland. Along with 15 other Directors, Gerard Hartsink was appointed to be the inaugural chairman of the board.



GLEIF’s role in the LEI dimension


GLEIF is uniquely positioned in the entity identification market, agnostic to any particular political and/or commercial interests. The foundations’ overhaul is to ensure the operational integrity of the Global LEI System. GLEIF is the one behind continuous improvement of the information available within, and the quality of, the LEI data pool. GLEIF makes the access to the information convenient by making the Global LEI Index obtainable to everyone.
LEI SEARCH 

Global LEI Index is the only worldwide online source providing open, standardised, high quality legal entity reference data, through this GLEIF is able to enable individuals and entities to make smarter, less costly and more definitive decisions about their possible business partners and clients.

 

 

GLEIF’s responsibilities as listed on the website.

 

  • Evaluating the suitability of organizations seeking to operate as issuers of LEIs.
  • Providing expertise and reliability throughout the organization and management of the system.
  • Ensuring access to the complete global LEI data pool, free of charge, to users. 
  • Continuously optimizing the quality of the LEI data pool.
  • Making available comprehensive information on the LEI and the Global LEI System, as well as timely updates on related global developments and GLEIF activities.

To obtain an overview of the services GLEIF provides, refer to the GLEIF Service Catalog here.

Thanks to the work of GLEIF, the LEI remains the industry standard best suited to providing open and trustful data for unique legal entity identification management. The foundation has endorsed the International Open Data Charter, aiming to foster greater consistency and collaboration to promote the increased adoption and implementation of shared open data principles, standards and procedures across sectors globally.



What does the future hold for the LEI system?

Today LEIs have been assigned to legal entities primarily based in the U.S and Europe, where regulations now require the use of LEIs to uniquely identify counterparties to transaction in regulatory reporting. In these jurisdictions, public authorities rely on LEI to assess risk, take corrective steps and, when necessary, control market abuse whilst improving the integrity of financial data. Therefore broad LEI adoption will also generate remarkable advantages for the wider business community, by simplifying and globalising a method of validating organisations and mapping identifiers. This information in greater scale can be used to understand organisation identity and hierarchy, consequently keep contributing to newer technological innovations like blockchain.

One great example of companies who use various identifiers internally to identify the same customer are banks. So do vendors associated with the bank and LEI has the potential to consolidate many of these inefficiencies.

Taking further the example of a bank, in the future LEIs will be used to save time onboarding, making processes more efficient and clear – giving confidence to all parties involved. Banks in trade financing could save up to US$500 million per annum overall by using the LEI in the issuance of letters of credit, as well as saving hours and hours in onboarding time.

Furthermore, LEIs help save time and money in the steps taken to complete a digitalised financial transaction. Verification of Identity, invoicing, signing are just some of the steps involved – this entire order to payment process can be streamlined between organisations in a much more efficient way.

LEIs enable us to immediate, digitised identification of entities and allow banks to drastically cut back the time and other resources spent on background checks and investigation, help to alleviate risk and comply with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations,  as well as reduce the instance of false reporting.