LEIs May Be in Short Supply


While the European Securities and Markets Authority keeps repeating its mantra of “No LEI, no trade,” some industry insiders are concerned that the industry will be short of legal entity identifiers when MiFID goes into effect on January 3, 2018.

When the LSE surveyed MiFID II preparedness earlier this year, it found that 40% to 60% of the counter-parties that required a LEI had one.

“That suggests that we are at least 30% to 40% short of the entire LEI population that we need,” said David Nowell, head of compliance at the London Stock Exchange Group’s UnaVista business, during a recent webinar.

Most people who will want LEIs will be able to get them, Roy Kirby, senior product manager at SIX Financial Information told Markets Media. “Where we might have a struggle as an industry will be in locations where people are not familiar with LEIs,” he said.

Counter-parties outside of Europe and the US as still inquiring about the most basic LEI issues like how to obtain one, how long it will take to process, and how much it will cost,  noted Leonard Ng, a partner at Sidley, LLP and who also participated in the webinar.

Of all of MiFID II requirements obtaining a LEI is the most straightforward, according to Nowell.  “They can go to their Local Operating Unit that has been established by the Global LEI System, such as the London Stock Exchange.”

The entire process, depending on the data one provides, should take the LOU approximately two days to check the submitted data and assign a LEI, he added.

The challenge remains whether a client outside the EU, such as an Australian farming company or a Canadian mining company, there is a reluctance to obtain a LEI, noted fellow panelist Manmeet Rana,  director, risk advisory at Deloitte.

However, a firm can obtain a LEI on a client’s behalf after receiving the client’s permission, she added. “Going through that process and having the responsibility of maintaining and renewing LEI over time and have to go through that process, I think that is what is putting our clients off.”


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