Better Knowledge, Better Business

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The way we work has been revolutionized by technology. In this context, the automation and digitalization of many manual processes has led to significant time and cost savings. However, despite these changes, many organizations continue to use manual methods when it comes to identifying legal entities. The use of the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) as a common and global identifier to combat this problem encompasses a wide range of business applications spanning multiple industries, business activities and functions.

The LEI enables clear and unambiguous identification of legal entities involved in financial transactions by linking it to key reference information. The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) provides the Global LEI Index, the only global online source that provides open, standardized and high-quality reference data for legal entities. Each LEI contains information about the ownership structure of a legal entity and answers the questions “who is who” and “who owns whom”.

Get an LEI and make it work for you: The opportunity for the private sector

Companies around the world are currently grappling with the question of how to develop and implement a common system for identifying companies that could serve as a hub for identifying financial market participants and linking data. Identifying firms can be a time-consuming, costly and complex task; most firms do not have a single database that collects up-to-date reference data on existing or potential clients, counterparties and business partners. Collecting and maintaining the relevant data requires a repetition of efforts across the market and ties up resources that could be used more productively elsewhere. Until now, reference data for legal entities has been proprietary, isolated and non-standardized.

So, what’s the solution?

The Global LEI Index enables companies, regardless of industry, to reduce costs, simplify and accelerate operations and gain deeper insight into the global marketplace. Corporate customers, vendors and other business partners can be clearly, easily and quickly identified with the LEI, offering companies cost benefits and new business opportunities. Accessing and using the LEI data pool supports a wide range of applications, e.g. in the areas of risk management, compliance and client relationship management.

The benefits that the Global LEI Index brings to the wider business community grow as LEI becomes more widespread. GLEIF’s message to businesses around the world is therefore as follows: Get an LEI and make it work for you.

For more information on how you can add business value with LEI, see these resources:

  • New update – McKinsey & Company and GLEIF: The power of LEIs to transform customer lifecycle management in banking: A $4 Billion Start. This ebook looks at the findings of a joint study by GLEIF and McKinsey on the benefits banks can achieve through expanded use of LEIs. The widespread adoption of LEIs could save the global banking sector US$2 billion to US$4 billion annually in customer onboarding costs alone. This equates to a saving of 5 to 10 percent of the industry’s total annual spend of US$40 billion on the practice. The study concludes that wider use of LEIs by banks across all business lines would lead to significant cost and time savings.
  • McKinsey & Company and GLEIF white paper: The Legal Entity Identifier – The Value of the Unique Counterparty ID. The white paper estimates that wider, global adoption of LEIs could result in annual savings of over US$150 million in investment banking and up to US$500 million for banks in issuing letters of credit. The annual savings in investment banking would include at least 10 per cent of the total operating costs for client intake and trade processing through the use of LEIs.
  • GLEIF research report: A New Future for Legal Entity Identification. The report outlines the findings of GLEIF research into the challenges of identifying legal entities in the financial services sector, including customer due diligence (KYC). It also shows how replacing disjointed information with a globally accepted approach based on widespread adoption of the LEI would reduce the complexity of business transactions and provide quantifiable value to financial services firms.

More transparency: Regulatory use of the LEI

Moving to a standardized system for identifying companies based on the LEI could be useful wherever there is a relationship between government and business. With this in mind, GLEIF and the US Data Foundation have joined forces to explore how the adoption of the LEI by US federal agencies could simplify business identification and bring benefits both inside and outside the financial markets. 

Stay connected: GLEIF stakeholder groups

To ensure that the system evolves in line with user requirements, GLEIF is in regular dialogue with representatives of a wide range of industry sectors, as well as with authorities around the world, through its dedicated GLEIF Stakeholder Groups.

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