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The LEI in Numbers: Looking Back on a Transformative 2023

The continued growth of the Global LEI System was coupled with significant industry momentum for the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) in 2023.


Author: Stephan Wolf

  • Date: 2024-01-24
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The Global LEI Foundation (GLEIF) is proud of its ongoing transparency initiatives, including its open approach to providing unrestricted access to the latest LEI data from around the world with the Quarterly LEI System Business Reports, which are made publicly available free of charge. Through this ‘LEI in Numbers’ blog series, GLEIF aims to highlight key data from the latest report, explaining trends and profiling successes from the global LEI rollout.

2023 marked the continued expansion of the Global LEI System. Over 240,000 new LEIs were issued to bring the total LEI population to approximately 2.41 million, representing a robust annual growth rate of 11%.

This growth was bolstered by sustained and notable increases in reported data across LEI data formats implemented in March 2022 in line with the Regulatory Oversight Committee’s (ROC) new policies. The introduction of these formats, along with strong industry uptake, has expanded the scope of the data contained in each LEI, delivering increased transparency and utility across the global marketplace.

2023 was also a year characterized by significant industry momentum for the LEI. This was particularly apparent as part of global efforts to make cross-border payment transactions faster, cheaper, more transparent, and more inclusive.

In October, the Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS) Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) published its 'Harmonized ISO 20022 data requirements for enhancing cross-border payments'. In a landmark development and following feedback from various industry stakeholders during the consultation phase, the CPMI recognized the LEI as an equivalent identifier to the Business Identifier Code (BIC) for identifying financial institutions and legal entities within a payment message.

In parallel, The Wolfsberg Group published its updated Payment Transparency Standards, which support the use of the LEI within ISO 20022 payment messages to enhance the accuracy of identification information.

Looking ahead, opportunity abounds for the LEI to bring increased trust and transparency to multiple applications—such as helping the fight against financial crime, simplifying complex and opaque supply chains, and supporting the digitalization of global trade. This will be underpinned by GLEIF’s ongoing commitment to a strong, credible, and globally expansive LEI issuance ecosystem, overseen by international regulators and underpinned by high-quality, accurate data.

Data from the latest business report, covering Q4 2023, confirms that over 59,000 LEIs were issued during the quarter—compared to 55,000 in Q3. This represents a quarterly growth rate of 2.5%.

The overall LEI renewal rate in Q4 was 56.3%, a slight decline from the previous quarter. This was primarily due to a decrease in renewals in non-EU jurisdictions to 46.7%, while quarterly renewals in EU jurisdictions also dipped to 62.2%. Hungary once again demonstrated the highest renewal rate (94.5%), followed by Japan (91.8%), Finland (84.6%), Germany (79.5%), and India (79.4%), respectively.

The Global LEI System is unique in providing absolute transparency regarding when entity data was last verified, and—looking ahead to 2024—the Regulatory Oversight Committee (ROC) and GLEIF are committed to exploring initiatives to further encourage renewals and promote current, complete data reporting by legal entities.

This includes the upcoming launch of the ROC Conformity Flag: a simple and clear tool that will demonstrate to global data users whether an LEI record is up-to-date and complete with relationship reporting. As well as streamlining decision-making and supporting the global fight against financial crime, it will provide a simple and elegant way for entities to ensure technical compliance with approximately 200 regulations worldwide that reference the LEI—many of which require LEIs to be active.

Elsewhere, over 6,000 entities were identified as government entities and 38 as international organizations (up from 5,300 and 32 in Q3 2023, respectively). Approximately 131,000 legal entities reported fund relationship structures, an increase of around 3,000 on the previous quarter.

For the full report, which includes further detail on the status of LEI issuance and growth potential, the level of competition between LEI issuing organizations in the Global LEI System, and Level 1 and 2 reference data, please visit the Global LEI System Business Reports page.

Readers to note that, in March 2022, the CDF formats were updated based on the Regulatory Oversight Committee (ROC) policies: Legal Entity Events (formerly referred to as “Corporate Actions") and Data History in the Global LEI System, Policy on Fund Relationships and Guidelines for the registration of Investment Funds in the Global LEI System, and LEI Eligibility for General Government Entities Guidance Document.

If you are interested in reviewing the latest daily LEI data, our Global LEI System Statistics Dashboard contains daily statistics on the total and active number of LEIs issued. This feature now enables any user to review historical data by geography, increasing transparency on the overall progress of the LEI.

For further details or to access historical data, please visit the Global LEI System Business Report Archive. We look forward to sharing our progress each quarter as we continue to drive LEI adoption in 2024.

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About the author:

Stephan Wolf is the CEO of the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF). In 2023, he was elected as a member of the Board of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Germany. In 2021, he was appointed to an all-new Industry Advisory Board (IAB) as part of the global ICC Digital Standards Initiative (DSI). In that capacity, he serves as co-chair of the workstream on ‚Trusted Technology Environment‘. Between January 2017 and June 2020, Mr. Wolf was 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. Mr. Wolf holds a university degree in business administration from J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main.


Tags for this article:
Global LEI System Business Reports, Global LEI Index, Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), LEI Issuers (Local Operating Units - LOUs), LEI Renewal, Open Data, Data Management, Level 1 / Business Card Data (Who is Who), Level 2 / Relationship Data (Who Owns Whom)