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GLEIF Launches ‘Certification of LEI Mapping Service’

New GLEIF initiative enables accurate cross-referencing of key entity identifiers, free of charge. The result? Enhanced customer functionality, streamlined entity verification and reduced data management costs.

Author: Stephan Wolf

  • Date: 2018-05-15
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In May 2018, the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) launched the GLEIF Certification of Mapping service. The Certification of Mapping service is a new, free of charge certification process. It ensures that organizations which map the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) to their own identifiers use reasonable methodologies and / or processes to do so accurately. Data vendors and other organizations benefit significantly from mapping their applicable identifiers to the LEI, as this provides enhanced functionality to their customers.

Any organization wishing to gain certification must follow an established process outlined in the diagram below.


The Certification of Mapping service also supports the integrity of the Global LEI System, by ensuring that quality controls associated with mapping identifiers to the LEI meet or exceed requirements defined by GLEIF.

Following certification, the mapping partner is required to maintain these quality standards and at regular intervals GLEIF performs validation activities to confirm that the output continues to meet GLEIF’s required performance standards. GLEIF also publishes a relationship file that matches the applicable identifier against the LEI. Data users may access this information via the GLEIF website for integration into their existing data platforms.

Detailed information on the certification process as well as relevant documentation is available on the dedicated GLEIF website page ‘GLEIF Certification Process’ (see ‘related links’ below).

LEI mapping and certification: The benefits

Entity identification can be a time-consuming, costly and complex task. Relevant information is often stored in disparate internal and external systems and tagged under different client ID numbers. To address these challenges among others, GLEIF publishes the Global LEI Index, which contains the historical and current LEI records including related reference data in one authoritative, central repository. The reference data provides the information on a legal entity identifiable with an LEI, answering ‘who is who’ and ‘who owns whom’. The Global LEI Index is the only global online source that provides open, standardized and high quality legal entity reference data.

By mapping an entity’s alternative identifiers against their corresponding LEI, data vendors and other organizations can provide enhanced functionality and a smoother, frictionless experience to their customers. The resulting interoperability across parallel ID platforms leads to more streamlined entity verification processes and significant reductions in data management costs for data users.

The Certification of Mapping service, and the subsequent publication by GLEIF of publicly available, open source relationship files which match identifiers against corresponding LEIs, eases the process of gathering, aggregating and reconciling counterparty information. It is easy to understand how this can be valuable in many instances, including compliance, regulatory reporting, client relationship management, and of course, due diligence. It is also clear to see that the benefits of a certified process for mapping identifers to LEIs can be enjoyed across any industry which relies on accurate entity verification and which values enhanced transparency in the global marketplace.

In summary, the GLEIF Certification Mapping service responds to the pressing market demand for more streamlined entity verification processes recently confirmed with a GLEIF research study. (To learn about GLEIF’s research findings on the challenges of entity identification in financial services, refer to our website page ‘LEI in KYC: A New Future for Legal Entity Identification’ included in the ‘related links’ below.)

Business Identifier Code (BIC)-to-LEI Relationship File: A successful pilot

In February 2018, GLEIF and SWIFT successfully pioneered the certification process with the launch of the first monthly open-source relationship file that matches the Business Identifier Code (BIC) assigned to an organization against its LEI. This cooperation demonstrates how market participants can work with GLEIF to cross-reference key entity identifiers, completely free of charge. The BIC-to-LEI relationship files are built upon a mapping process established by SWIFT and certified by GLEIF.

SWIFT’s Global Head of Payments, Harry Newman, clearly recognizes the value of certified LEI mapping: “The BIC-to-LEI relationships and related regulatory reporting data are in high demand by market participants. Mapping LEIs can be resource intensive, but at SWIFT we have a dedicated team focused on establishing the relationships to the highest quality. We look forward to working with GLEIF and the industry as we continue to help streamline compliance with Basel II and other regulations.”

The open source BIC-to-LEI relationship file is certainly an important step towards consolidating information and will significantly reduce the cost associated with entity verification to date. If this successful cooperation is replicated between GLEIF and many other organizations which have their own identifiers, the result will be far greater transparency and more easily accessible insight into the global marketplace for market participants, who will also be empowered to cut costs, simplify and accelerate operations thanks to standardization across entity verification platforms. This represents a significant opportunity for all stakeholders to make legal entity identification more efficient.

We look forward to many successful collaborations under our new certification service and welcome enquiries from all parties interested in certification.

For more information about the Certification of LEI Mapping service, contact

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About the author:

Stephan Wolf is the CEO of the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF). Since January 2017, Mr. Wolf is Co-convener of the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 68 FinTech Technical Advisory Group (ISO TC 68 FinTech TAG). In January 2017, Mr. Wolf was named one of the Top 100 Leaders in Identity by One World Identity. He has extensive experience in establishing data operations and global implementation strategy. He has led the advancement of key business and product development strategies throughout his career. Mr. Wolf co-founded IS Innovative Software GmbH in 1989 and served first as its managing director. He was later named spokesman of the executive board of its successor IS.Teledata AG. This company ultimately became part of Interactive Data Corporation where Mr. Wolf held the role of CTO.

Tags for this article:
Client Relationship Management, Data Management, Global LEI Index, Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), Know-Your-Customer (KYC), LEI Business Case, LEI Mapping, Open Data, Over-the-Counter (OTC) Derivatives, Risk Management