SWIFT has today announced the release of a new Business Identifier Code (BIC) to Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) directory on its SWIFTRef data platform. The BIC to LEI directory has been created in response to industry demands and enables SWIFT’s clients to easily and cost-effectively cross-reference BIC reference data to the public LEI database.
The new directory will particularly appeal to securities service providers as it will simplify their derivatives trade reporting by making it easier to identify and match counterparties. Providers of securities are under pressure to improve reporting following the publication of regulation concerning unique identification of counterparties with LEI under the Dodd-Frank Act and the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).
“As an issuer of the BIC, it is a natural step for SWIFT to provide a directory to facilitate BIC to LEI mapping,” said Patrik Neutjens, Head of Reference Data at SWIFT. “There is an increasing need for clear and accurate identification of legal entities engaged in financial transactions to monitor systemic risk across the global financial network. SWIFT’s new BIC to LEI directory will help provide this.”
The Business Identifier Code (BIC), also known as ISO 9362, is a standard format identification code for both financial and non-financial institutions allocated by SWIFT and is the most commonly used international identifier for financial institutions. SWIFT has issued more than 100,000 BICs worldwide.
In line with SWIFT’s announcement earlier this year that it is providing daily updates on its SWIFTRef platform, the BIC to LEI directory will be updated on a daily basis. SWIFT calculates that in a typical month approximately 1,400 BICs undergo one or more changes, so the directory will prove valuable for the financial institutions and corporations who process thousands of domestic and international payments daily, and face a major challenge in maintaining accurate, up-to-date data.
The BIC to LEI mapping is already available to existing SWIFTRef Bank Directory Plus customers, via the SWIFTRef website download portal, and through FileAct, SWIFTRef’s regular file messaging service. It can also be accessed in the online tool Bankers World Online. In addition, a separate directory with the BIC to LEI mapping is now available for SWIFTRef users.