Legal Entity Identifier (LEI)

More transparency required

The deficient data on financial transactions as well as the risks and the interlacing of the financial institutions determined during the financial crisis, demonstrate the need for an interstate regulation.

For this reason, the G-20, a group of the twenty major industrialised countries and emerging economies commit to reduce the systemic risk in the financial market and to improve the transparency of the OTC derivative markets.

For the further improvement of the quality of the financial data, but also for the restriction of market abuse and financial fraud, it is necessary to clearly identify all opponents through a uniform reference code.

Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) System

The G-20 asked the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to create a Legal Entity Identifier system (LEI) for more transparency on the financial markets.

In the future, it will be possible to identify the contracting parties of financial market transactions worldwide. The aim is to make it easier for the regulators to early recognise possible arising systemic risks by a simplified aggregation.

Besides better risk assessment and more efficient analysis, the new system also provides more transparency for investors, the operative costs can be reduced and the market efficiency increases.


The LEI – a public good

The LEI will be a public good without private property or licensee rights. As a result of the new European regulations, in the future, the LEI will also be used vis-à-vis the supervisory bodies.

The LEI is not aimed at the substitution of existing identifiers but will, in the future, become binding standard for the regulatory reporting. Further, the existing identifiers, which are in general not subject to international standardisation, are supposed to be mapped on the LEI.

Technically, the LEI code developed by the FSB, will be a coincidental 20 character alphanumeric code as per ISO standard 17442. Additionally, further company data like the name or the domicile and the date of the first participation in the LEI system shall be recorded.

Until the LEI system will be completely established, pre-Local Operating Units (pre-LOUs) will be responsible for the allocation of the LEI.



The idea of the global LEI-System (GLEIS) is that the affected companies identify and register at the online portal, especially created for this purpose. In Germany, the registration is possible since the beginning of April 2013 at the WM LEIPORTAL.

In case of queries, please contact our team.


News: Global LEI Data available as Download via Internet and FTP Account

Since December 1, 2014, the WM LEIPORTAL has been providing the LEI data of the currently 20 worldwide existing LEI allocation units (LOUs) in form of daily updated downloads via the in-ternet or via FTP account. Alternatively, the data can also be retrieved in XML format via a secured FTP account. This service is subject to a fee.

The data is made available for download at around 6:00 a.m. (CET) every day. Service recipients may choose between a full file and a daily delta file. The latter only includes data additions or changes compared to the previous day.

Here, we also provide the option to search for specific data within the global LEI database.

Please note that we will no longer provide LEI data in not CFF-conform formats (CFF = Common File Format) after December 31, 2014.