GLEIF AND SWIFT INTRODUCE THE FIRST OPEN SOURCE BIC-TO-LEI RELATIONSHIP FILE TO ALLOW FOR INTEROPERABILITY ACROSS MULTIPLE ID PLATFORMS

The cooperation will significantly streamline entity verification processes and reduce data management costs

The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) has published the first monthly relationship file that matches a Business Identifier Code (BIC) assigned to an organization against its Legal Entity Identifier (LEI). With the launch of this open source file, GLEIF and SWIFT have pioneered a cooperation model that, for the first time, enables market participants to link and cross-reference these key entity identifiers free of charge. This will significantly streamline entity verification processes and reduce data management costs.

The BIC-to-LEI relationship file is built upon a mapping process established by SWIFT and certified by GLEIF. It is published on the GLEIF website in CSV format and will be updated on a monthly basis. As of February 2018, more than one million LEIs have been issued to legal entities globally. Of the approximate 130,000 BICs assigned to date, currently some 45,000 pertain to organizations that are legal entities or foreign branches, and therefore qualify for the mapping against LEIs.

Availability of the open source BIC-to-LEI relationship file will ease the process of gathering, aggregating and reconciling counterparty information based on interoperability across parallel ID platforms. This is particularly relevant to service providers active in the payments and over the counter (OTC) derivatives markets concerned with client relationship management, or due diligence relevant to know your customer (KYC) and know your supplier (KYS).

SWIFT’s Global Head of Payments, Harry Newman, comments: “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.”

GLEIF CEO, Stephan Wolf, says: “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. The open source BIC-to-LEI relationship file is an important step towards consolidating information. This will significantly reduce the cost associated with entity verification to date.” He adds: “At GLEIF, we are proud to provide this joint solution and I would like to thank SWIFT for the opportunity to cooperate.”

The BIC (ISO 9362) is an international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for the identification of institutions within the financial services industry. SWIFT is the registration authority for the BIC standard appointed by ISO. In this role, SWIFT receives BIC registration requests, assigns a BIC and publishes the related BIC data record.

The LEI is a 20-digit, alpha-numeric code based on the ISO 17442 standard. It enables clear and unique identification of legal entities engaging in financial transactions. Each LEI contains information about an entity’s ownership structure to answer the questions of ‘who is who’ and ‘who owns whom’ among market participants. GLEIF ensures free access to the complete LEI data pool with the Global LEI Index. This is the only global online source that provides open, standardized and high quality legal entity reference data.

GLEIF offers its certification of LEI mapping service to interested data vendors and other organizations to ensure that the LEI is appropriately matched to the applicable identifier.