Announcing Open LEIs:…

Announcing Open LEIs: a user-friendly interface to the Legal Entity Identifier system

From the post:

Today, OpenCorporates announces a new sister website, Open LEIs, a user-friendly interface on the emerging Global Legal Entity Identifier System.

At this point many, possibly most, of you will be wondering: what on earth is the Global Legal Entity Identifier System? And that’s one of the reasons why we built Open LEIs.

The Global Legal Entity Identifier System (aka the LEI system, or GLEIS) is a G20/Financial Stability Board-driven initiative to solve the issues of identifiers in the financial markets. As we’ve explained in the past, there are a number of identifiers out there, nearly all of them proprietary, and all of them with quality issues (specifically not mapping one-to-one with legal entities). Sometimes just company names are used, which are particularly bad identifiers, as not only can they be represented in many ways, they frequently change, and are even reused between different entities.

This problem is particularly acute in the financial markets, meaning that regulators, banks, market participants often don’t know who they are dealing with, affecting everything from the ability to process trades automatically to performing credit calculations to understanding systematic risk.

The LEI system aims to solve this problem, by providing permanent, IP-free, unique identifiers for all entities participating in the financial markets (not just companies but also municipalities who issue bonds, for example, and mutual funds whose legal status is a little greyer than companies).

The post cites five key features for Open LEIs:

  1. Search on names (despite slight misspellings) and addresses
  2. Browse the entire (100,000 record) database and/or filter by country, legal form, or the registering body
  3. A permanent URL for each LEI
  4. Links to OpenCorporate for additional data
  5. Data is available as XML or JSON

As the post points out, the data isn’t complete but dragging legal entities out into the light is never easy.

Use this resource and support it if you are interested in more and not less financial transparency.

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