Who is an LOU in the Global LEI System?
A Local Operating Unit (LOU) is an authorized organization that issues LEI codes. You’ll find a list of official LOUs (or LEI Issuers) on the GLEIF website. LOU-s supply registration, renewal, and other services related to the LEI code.
Global Legal Entity System (GLEIS)
In response to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, in 2021 a Group of Twenty (G20) called on the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to provide recommendations for a global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) and a supporting governance structure. This gave rise to the development of the Global LEI System which, through the issuance of LEIs, now provides unique identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions across the globe.
Global Legal Entity Foundation (GLEIF)
From there a not-for-profit organization the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) was created, to support the implementation and use of the LEI. GLEIF services are in charge of establishing operational integrity within the Global LEI System.
Local Operating Unit (LOU)
LEIs are issued by authorized organizations called Local Operating Units (LOUs). You’ll find a list of LEI issuing organizations on the GLEIF website.
Registration Agent (RA)
To further streamline the issuance of LEIs, GLEIF introduced the concept of the Registration Agent (RA). Their role is to help legal entities like you, looking to obtain an LEI code. RA’s success is determined by the efficiency of their systems and by how well they’re able to simplify and accommodate the LEI registration or renewal process for their clients.
LEI issuing organizations’ Registration Agents are listed under each LEI issuing organization’s basic information on the GLEIF website.
LEI Pricing Structure
The fees charged for the issuance and maintenance of an LEI are entirely a matter of the LOU or RA. The GLEIS has been set up in a way where the LEI cost can differ among various service providers. This is done to encourage healthy competition and benefit the end customer. Since the number needs to be updated yearly – the costs will start to add up. For this reason, we encourage you to pay close attention to the price and take it as the primary factor when registering an LEI code.
What you often don’t hear about LEIs, is that the LEI prices are determined by the organization’s own charging structure and have nothing to do with the value of the LEI code itself. The code is simply a tool that enables you to easily identify legal entities, that are active in the financial market.
In order to keep the GLEIF running, they surcharge 11 USD per LEI application for 1 year. The next organization to add on to the price is an LEI issuer, otherwise known as an LOU. Last in line is a Registration Agent, whose prices are often determined by the cost of the LEI they receive from their LOU.
Registration Agents vs Local Operating Units
Nowadays there are many different RA-s and LOU-s with whom you’ll be able to register or renew your LEI number. Each LEI is published within the Global LEI Index and is seen as equal within the system. There are no better functioning LEIs.
An RA’s success is solely determined by their ability to offer good value, whilst simplifying the LEI registration or renewal process for their clients. This is why you’ll find that obtaining an LEI with an RA is more efficient and cost-effective than going straight to an LOU.
Registration Agent LEI Register
LEI Register is an official Registration Agent – we have been helping legal entities apply for new LEI codes or transfer and renew existing LEI codes since early 2018. We have successfully pursued our goal to make the LEI registration process simple, automated, fast, and affordable. At LEI Register we keep our profit margins low and believe in building long-term business relationships.
LEI Register has built a loyal customer base by offering the lowest prices on the market, whilst keeping active a 7 days a week customer support in a local language in 35 countries.