The GLEIF (Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation) in concert with the GFMA (Global Financial Markets Association) held a webinar this morning to give market participants an update as to the state of the GLEIS (Global Legal Entity Identifier System).  Speakers included Robin Doyle of JP Morgan, Matthew Reed of the Office of Financial Research and Stephan Wolf, the CEO of the GLEIF.

A few things that I learned:

  1. The COU or Central Operating Unit is no longer an entity being referenced. Now the GLEIF is responsible for what the COU was originally slated for and that includes accreditation and coordination of the LOUs (Local Operating Units).
  2. The GLEIF realizes there is an issue with lapsed LEIs. At Alacra’s last count a few weeks ago, about 25% of the entities whose LEI had been assigned by the GMEI had lapsed.
  3. The GLEIF website was announced: It’s worth checking out if you have any need to know about LEIs.
  4. The GLEIF will ultimately be a source of a “golden copy” of all LEIs assigned by all the LOUs.
  5. Two slides during the webinar listed the ongoing regulatory activities that may eventually lead to the LEI being mandated for use by specific regulators.  Many things have been requested and proposed but still, there only a few requirements to use the LEI and arguably only 2 important ones: the CFTC for Swap Record Keeping and ESMA for trade reporting.
  6. Stephan Wolf presented an anecdote in which he said a mid-sized European Bank was using the LEI for a number of things beyond trade reporting and finding the use of the LEI cost-effective.
  7. The GLEIF plans on working on how to incorporate hierarchies into the dataset later this year.
  8. I asked if there were any targeted plans to improve quality, which was answered positively.

Overall it was an informative webinar.  The push towards greater transparency is welcome and it seems as if progress is slowly being made.  Usage of the LEI outside of transaction reporting would be enhanced if the GLEIF would publish use cases similar to the one Mr. Wolf spoke about.  Alacra’s experience is that there’s very limited use of LEIs outside of transaction reporting, and data quality is often cited as a reason.

I didn’t want to link to the slide deck without permission but I’m sure you can request it from GFMA.