LEI Code Transfers Explained

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LEI Codes are issued by Local Operating Units (LOU’s) that are accredited by GLEIF. Besides LOU’s, there are numerous Registration Agents that facilitate the communication between the customer and the LOU. An entity that requires the LEI code is completely free to choose which Registration Agent and LOU they wish to use. It is not necessary to use the LEI issuer in their own country, as LEI codes are standardised and cannot be differentiated based on the issuer. 

Since the LEI service provider can be freely chosen, it is also possible to change it. LEIs can be freely transferred between different LOUs. The process of an LEI transfer is explained below.

Important! The LEI code itself, as well as the associated data will not change during the transfer – the only change will be the name of the managing LOU.

Why should an LEI Code be transferred?

There are many reasons why an LEI Code could be transferred to the management of a different provider. 

  • Price – Since all LEI service providers have the possibility to set their own annual rates for the LEI management, one of the more common reasons for transferring would be the price. Another provider can offer more attractive rates or larger discounts for multi-year registrations.
  • Service quality – The service quality can differ between service providers as well. Important aspects like response time and support throughout the registration or renewal procedure can influence the decision to transfer the LEI to another provider.
  • User Interface – As with every online service, the user interface varies between LEI providers; some can be user-friendlier than others.
  • Additional services provided – Some service providers can offer additional services, such as automatic renewals, bulk LEI management, multi-year registration periods or LEI certificates.

When can an LEI be transferred?

The LEI can be transferred any time. It is, however, most common to complete the transfer process at the time of the annual renewal. This way the LEI can be renewed for the upcoming years by the new service provider. 

The LEI Transfer Process

  • Application – The LEI Code transfer process starts with the LEI owner applying for transfer and renewal (or transfer only) with their new chosen LEI service provider – in many cases a Registration Agent.
  • Confirmation from the customer – The registration agent will ask the customer to provide a signed Letter of Authorisation (LoA), confirming their wish to transfer their LEI Code.
  • LOU Communication – The new LOU will advise the original LOU that the customer wishes to transfer the LEI. The original LOU has three days to contact the customer and reconfirm that they wish to transfer. If there is no objection from the original LOU within 3 days, the LEI code will be released to the new LOU.
  • The LEI is transferred – The LEI is ‘moved’ under the management of the new LOU and renewed, if applicable. During the renewal process, the LEI data is validated against a registry or relevant documents, just like during a usual renewal. The new LOU will also be visible in the GLEIF database under the applicable LEI entry.

How long does an LEI transfer take?

Due to the nature of the process and the number of parties involved, the transfer can take up to 7 days. 

It is possible for the LEI owner to expedite the process by contacting their original LOU and confirming their wish to transfer before the 3 days are up.