FSB sets out LEI scope and timetable

FSB sets out LEI scope and timetable

The Financial Stability Board has set out 35 recommendations for the development and implementation of a global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) system that will uniquely identify parties to financial transactions.

The FSB, which was established to address vulnerabilities in global financial markets, says the establishment of an LEI system would be a 'building block' for achieving future financial stability and regulatory objectives.

Its much-anticipated report sets out a three-tier structure, comprising a Regulatory Oversight Committee (ROC), Central Operating Unit (COU), and Local Operating Units (LOU).

At the top of the tree, the ROC would have the ultimate responsibility for the governance of the global LEI system in the public interest and would comprise "authorities which support the core principles and purposes of the system".

The COU is the pivotal operational arm of the global LEI system with responsibility for ensuring the application of uniform global operational standards and protocols. It will be created as a legal entity in the form of a not for profit foundation "that would rely on broad industry participation, expertise and knowledge to identify and develop the most technologically, financially and legally sound methods to implement the global LEI system in line with the standards and framework defined by the ROC".

A board of directors, which may include both industry representatives and independent participants, will be elected to provide recommendations on whether to outsource any particular function or operation or develop software inhouse.

The local implementers of the global system will offer local registration, validation, maintenance and protection of reference data. It is anticipated that LOUs will build on existing local business registry or numbering services to ensure wide industry participation.

Funding for development of the system should be "self-sustaining" and not-for-profit, comprising a local discretionary charge and a common fee for support of central functions of the COU and ROC.

"The cost of obtaining an LEI should be modest and not a barrier to acquisition," states the FSB. "Access to the LEI and associated reference data will be free and open to all users, and there should be no 'bundling' of other services alongside the LEI by providers which forces users to pay directly or indirectly for the LEI."

The FSB has set a tight timeframe for implementation, with the goal of establishing an independent global LEI system by the end of 2012 and operational functionality by March 2013.

To kick things off, the FSB will set up an 'LEI Implementation group' that will undertake the necessary preparatory work to develop a central platform for the integration of local identification schemes into a centralised database of unique LEIs. An open invitation to join the LEI foundation consultative group will be made following the presentation of the report at the forthcoming G20 meeting in Mexico.

Read the full report:

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Comments: (2)

Gary Wright
Gary Wright 08 June, 2012, 15:12Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This is now moving fast. The Post Trade Forum is organising a debate on LEI hosted by BT in September and will examin the full potential of the new identity standard

Allan Grody
Allan Grody - Financial InterGroup - New York 09 June, 2012, 15:24Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The FSB’s statement today on a going forward framework for the LEI initiative reaffirms both their seriousness and their diligence in confronting one of the most serious gaps in the global financial system’s infrastructure. The lack of a global identification system for financial market participants and the products they own, trade and process has inhibited risk aggregation for observing the contagion of systemic risk. It has cost billions annually in unnecessary infrastructure costs at global financial institutions. It has spawned numerous financial market utilities whose primary existence is purposed on resolving ambiguities in data identification and in reconciling data quality issues. Its absence has been a factor in headline grabbing operational risk events, in regulators’ inability to see that which they are mandated to oversee, and in preventing the fulfillment of the financial industry’s long sought vision of straight-through-processing.

My firm and the group of global technology leaders and other stakeholders that we have assembled for accommodating the FSB’s LEI requirements looks forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders toward a successful first implementation of a globally federated identification system for financial market participants. See:

 Global Identification Standards for Counterparties and Other Financial Market Participants ... Journal of Risk Management in Financial Institutions - Special Issue on Counterparty Risk, Vol. 5, No. 2 at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2016874

   --Allan D. Grody, President, FInancial InterGroup Holdings Ltd.