The value of the Legal Entity Identifier for the payments industry

Victoria Cleland, Executive Director for Banking, Payments and Innovation, Bank of England and Gerard Hartsink, Chairman, Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation

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Abstract: In November 2011, the G20 initiated the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) programme for the development of a global system to uniquely identify parties engaged in financial transactions. Since then, over 1.4 million legal entities in over 200 jurisdictions have registered for an LEI. This paper describes the progress made in the implementation of the programme and sets out the potential benefits that LEIs offer as a global means of verifying identity in payments. It describes existing plans to incorporate LEIs into payments through the move to the ISO 20022 messaging standard, and the existing barriers to this adoption. It concludes by laying out a ‘call to action’ to all market participants (national international, public and private) explaining the steps required to realise the full potential LEIs can bring to the payments industry and the wider economy.


Keywords: FSB, Bank of England, GLEIF, LEI Regulatory Oversight Committee, ISO 17442 LEI, ISO 20022, Legal Entity Identifier


Victoria Cleland is the Bank of England’s Executive Director for Banking, Payments and Innovation. She leads the teams responsible for the operation and strategic development of payment system services, including the UK’s real-time gross settlement infrastructure and the Bank of England’s wholesale and retail banking operations, including the provision of emergency liquidity assistance. Victoria is also a member of the Bank’s RTGS/CHAPS Board. She has held various roles at the Bank of England, including Chief Cashier, Deputy Head of the Bank’s Special Resolution Unit, Private Secretary to the Deputy Governor and Senior Manager in the Market Infrastructure Division.


Gerard Hartsink is Chairman of the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation. He is also a member of the World Trade Board, the International Chamber of Commerce Digital Economy Commission and the Dutch government’s Forum Standaardisatie. His previous roles include Senior Executive Vice President of ABN AMRO Bank, Chairman of CLS Bank International and the European Payments Council and Board Member of SWIFT, LCH.Clearnet Group, Euroclear Netherlands and the Euro Banking Association.



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