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The LEI in Numbers: Reviewing 2021 and the Q4 Adoption Boom

Striking growth in LEI adoption across Asia in 2021 following increasing regulatory push

Author: Stephan Wolf

  • Date: 2022-01-20
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The Global LEI Foundation (GLEIF) is proud of its ongoing transparency initiatives. Namely 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.

2021 demonstrated continued positive momentum for LEI issuance, concluding with a total LEI population of 1.95 million. With over 261,000 LEIs issued throughout the year, representing an annual growth rate of 15.3%, the LEI system is growing at an impressive rate.

The latest report, covering Q4 2021, shows that more than 80,000 new LEIs were issued globally during this time period – a strong increase from the 60,000 issued in Q3. This represents a quarterly growth rate of 4.3%, up from 3.3% noted in the previous quarter.

For a summary of the past quarter’s data, the below infographic contains the key statistics from Q4 2021, in addition to data summarizing the progress made in 2021 overall.

So called ‘competitive markets’ refer to those with over 1,000 LEIs, based on the number of LEI issuers providing services in the jurisdiction. The most competitive markets are those with the most LEI issuers per jurisdiction, with similar market share, and vice versa for the least competitive markets.

In Q4, China overtook Iceland as the jurisdiction with the highest LEI growth rate of the quarter, with an impressive 36.5% increase – the largest seen this year. It was followed by Estonia (22.9%), Iceland (19.3%), India (14.6%) and Turkey (10.1%). The rise of LEIs in China and India can be directly linked to the increase of regulatory requirements, whereas the growth seen in Estonia and Iceland has been driven by strong competition among LEI issuers.

In this same quarter, the overall renewal rate settled at 62.5%. While slightly lower than the previous quarter (64.6%), this decrease can be attributed to a lower number of renewals in December – a trend typical for this time of year.

Japan demonstrated the highest renewal rate (91.8%) in the quarter and has consistently ranked in the top two jurisdictions for renewals throughout 2021. Other jurisdictions in the Q4 top five are China (89.3%), Finland (87.6%), Liechtenstein (83.1%) and Germany (82.6%).

Proactive LEI renewal on an annual basis ensures that the Global LEI Index continues to provide the most accurate and up-to-date data as possible. The high figures for LEI issuance and renewals seen across a range of regions once again this quarter provides further evidence of the maturity and value of the Global LEI System. This brings tremendous benefits to both the ecosystem and all users of LEI data who rely on its accuracy to make informed business decisions with confidence.

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.

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 detail 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 2022.

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About the author:

Stephan Wolf is the CEO of the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF). Since March 2024, he has led the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)’s Industry Advisory Board (IAB) of the Digital Standards Initiative, the global platform for digital trade standards alignment, adoption, and engagement. Before he was appointed as Chair, he had been serving as Vice-Chair of the IAB since 2023. In the same year, he was elected to the Board of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Germany.

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 strategies. 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)