Overview#Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is an Identity as a Service that provides a Universally Unique Identifier which enables clear and unique identification of legal entities engaging in financial transactions.
Implementation of the Legal Entity Identifier increases the ability of authorities in any jurisdiction to evaluate risk, conduct market surveillance and take corrective steps. Use of an Legal Entity Identifier also generates tangible benefits for businesses including reduced counterparty risk and increased operational efficiencies.
The business card information available with the legal entity reference data, e.g. the official name of a legal entity and its registered address, is referred to as ‘Level 1’ data. It provides the answer to the question of ‘who is who’. The Legal Entity Identifier data pool is currently being enhanced to include the ‘Level 2’ data that answers the question of ‘who owns whom’.
The drivers of the Legal Entity Identifier initiative, i.e. the Group of 20's, Financial Stability Board and many Regulatory Agencies around the world, have emphasized the need to make the Legal Entity Identifier available for the wider public good. This is contingent upon ensuring easy access to the global Legal Entity Identifier population.
Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation has also published the Global LEI Index. It provides information, updated daily, on all LEIs issued to date. The Global LEI Index, together with the LEI search engine developed by GLEIF, puts the complete legal entity reference data, made available by GLEIF as the authoritative source, at the disposal of any interested party conveniently and free of charge. The Global LEI Index is the only online source for open, standardized and high quality legal entity reference data with the potential to capture any entity engaging in financial transactions globally.