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The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) launched the GLEIF Blog and Discussion Board on 29 September 2015. This blog features information related to Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) rollout. If you would like to comment on a blog post, please identify yourself with your first and last name. Your name will appear next to your comment. Email addresses will not be published. Please note that by accessing or contributing to the discussion board you agree to abide by the terms of the GLEIF Blogging Policy, so please read them carefully.

LEI Look-up API: GLEIF Answers Financial Industry Calls to Enable Faster, Customized and Automated Access to the Legal Entity Identifier Data Pool

Launch of new API allows organizations to seamlessly integrate Legal Entity Identifier records into their internal systems


Author: Stephan Wolf

  • Date: 2017-09-27
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In September 2017, the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) launched its Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) ‘Look-up’ application programming interface (API). It provides developers with the opportunity to directly access the complete LEI data pool in real time and to perform on-demand checks for changes to specific LEI records in a convenient, easy-to-read format. The application responds to market needs identified during a beta test, carried out earlier in 2017, which involved multiple LEI stakeholders including financial institutions, regulators, fintech companies and analysts seeking to include LEI data in automated processes.

The new API (Request/Response Web Interface) allows organizations to set up fast, customized and automated access to the Global LEI Index, which contains historical and current LEI records including related reference data in one authoritative, central repository. The data provides the information on a legal entity identifiable with an LEI. The publicly available LEI data pool is the only global online source that offers open, standardized and high quality legal entity reference data.

The GLEIF LEI Look-up API makes it possible to easily find up to 200 LEI records included in the Global LEI Index with one request. Consequently, data users are now able to speedily retrieve information on specific LEIs with the API instead of having to download the file comprising the entire LEI population or to manually search for individual records. The integration of an LEI look-up functionality into in-house systems using the API supports a wide range of processes including, for example:

  • Know-your-customer (KYC): Financial institutions and other market participants can streamline work flows by rapidly validating information against a customized list of LEI records.
  • Client onboarding: Firms may consider deepening the use of the LEI within their client onboarding infrastructures so as to benefit from up-to-date reference data available within the Global LEI Index.
  • Compliance: Public authorities are able to efficiently verify whether legal entities meet legal requirements related to the use of the LEI in regulatory reporting, e.g. if the entity’s LEI has been duly renewed.

The GLEIF LEI Look-up API can easily be integrated into internal systems based on the widely supported JSON data format. Use of the API is free of charge and does not require registration. To find supporting documentation as well as detailed information on how to access the API, please refer to the ‘related links’ below.

GLEIF is committed to providing services that empower market participants to take advantage of the wealth of information available within the LEI data pool. Our new API further contributes to meeting this goal by enabling any interested party to quickly obtain updates with regard to a pre-defined list of LEI records.

The first version of the LEI Look-up API was built to meet the principal needs articulated by more than forty organizations representing LEI data users who participated in the beta test. Going forward, the application will continue to evolve based on feedback received from stakeholders.


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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, Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), Global LEI Index, Open Data, Risk Management
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