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Creating a Linchpin for Financial Data. The need for a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI)

Presenter 1
Linda Powell
Federal Reserve Board

The need for reference metadata has been recognized and identified as crucial within the financial industry. Unique and standardized identification of legal entities has become a top priority for the financial industry. It is now widely recognized that such an identifier is critical to efficient financial transaction processing and is critical for clear and unambiguous identification of parties and counterparties involved in all financial activities. Although the need for unique entity identification across government agencies, data vendors, and financial market participants has been discussed for years there is currently no entity identification schema used across the financial industry. The events of the last several years and the recent financial reform highlight the need for legal entity identifiers that cross organizations. The paper is the collaborate result of several financial regulators and:
• Explores the current state of entity identification throughout the financial industry,
• Presents the business cases for why unique and standardized identification is necessary,
• Summarizes the industry best practices and requirements for entity identification, and
• Identifies alternative approaches to implementing industry-wide identifiers.

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