New federal regulations will require swap participants to report a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) to their counterparties beginning April 10, 2013. This requirement will affect conventional swaps as well as foreign exchange (FX) swaps, FX forwards and FX options. SEC regulated security-based swaps are not affected. Institutions entering into swaps should act now to obtain an LEI before the deadline.
The LEI requirement comes as part of the swap reporting requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act). The Dodd-Frank Act requires swap transaction data to be reported to a registered swap data repository (SDR). Swap end users generally are not required to make any reports to an SDR, but they are required to obtain the LEIs that are part of the SDR reports.
Getting an LEI is relatively quick and easy. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has established a new website to issue LEIs. An LEI – technically called an Interim Compliant Identifier – can be obtained by visiting www.ciciutility.org. You will need to create a user account for the website and register your entity/entities engaging in swaps.