Regulation & Standards special report

regulations-standards-ird-sep2011

September 2011 - sponsored by: Avox, CUSIP Global Services, SIX Telekurs, Standard & Poor's

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A Standard Debate

The debate over implementation of the legal entity identifier (LEI) standard as set by the US Treasury's Office of Financial Research (OFR) heated up this past summer. After putting the LEI in place in July, in August the OFR announced the first phase of its implementation could begin in 2012, because enough progress had been made.

How the implementation of the LEI will be accomplished dominated the virtual roundtable discussion on pages 8-20. The global regulatory community will have to modify the LEI standard to make it universally acceptable, stated one of the executives in the roundtable. This could be as challenging as herding cats, as another executive described it.

Nonetheless, other participants in the roundtable believe the LEI shows promise of being accepted as a global and universal standard. In addition, close collaboration between the Association of National Numbering Agencies and market practitioners working with LEI utilities gives the standard a greater chance of timely execution and adoption, said an executive of a vendor in the industry.

To achieve that goal, however, the industry must get through a multi-year process of mapping each of the existing entity IDs to the LEI standard, as described in the roundtable. A prevalent "wait-and-see" attitude, as reported elsewhere in this month's issue of Inside Reference Data, is likely to be the biggest obstacle to getting started on that mapping. The roundtable, and this special report as a whole, examines the challenges the LEI presents as a standard, who supports it, and how they go about pushing for its implementation.

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