Reminder: Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) Requirement Effective April 10, 2013
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.
 As a practical matter, your counterparties – who are required to report your LEI – may want you to provide it before the effective date.
 Swap participants whose only counterparties are certain non-US institutions may not be required to obtain an LEI. The CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight has recently issued temporary no-action relief from reporting LEIs for certain non-US institutions that are precluded by foreign privacy laws or regulations from reporting this data.