Surecomp, a Canada-based trade finance solutions provider, has launched a new due diligence partnership with the Swiss-based Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF).

Under the deal, GLEIF will use Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) codes and the Global LEI Index to facilitate know your customer (KYC) compliance for Surecomp clients. 

The tie-up aims to provide customers with immediate certainty and authentication that the credentials of their trade counterparts are verified and trustworthy.

The Global LEI Index is the world’s only online source of open, standardised, and high-quality legal entity reference data. 

As such, it will be embedded into all of Surecomp’s cloud-based solutions to provide customers with real-time access to the unique identification data of legal entities participating in their trade finance transactions.

The readily available and verified information covering details such as ownership structure and subsidiary addresses will reduce the time currently spent by financiers and corporates on KYC checks as part of the transaction lifecycle, further improving operational efficiencies and driving trade growth.

“The LEI is incredibly important for all trade participants, particularly since the pandemic, which has seen fraudulent transactions become ever more prevalent,” said Enno-Burghard Weitzel, Surecomp’s SVP of strategy and business development.

“Offering our customers easier access to LEI data is increasing transparency, trust, and efficiency in the entire trade finance process. 

“Ultimately, it can also help to close the trade finance gap by making it easier for banks to verify SME customers.”

Stephan Wolf, CEO at GLEIF, added: “Research undertaken by GLEIF shows that broader adoption of legal entity identifiers could save the banking sector up to $4 billion in client onboarding costs annually. 

“Even if only a small proportion of this is within the trade finance arena, the potential gain in terms of both cost and time savings are significant enough to promote further global trade growth.”

Established by the Financial Stability Board in June 2014, GLIEF is a not-for-profit organisation created to support the implementation and use of LEI codes. 

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, GLEIF services aim to ensure the operational integrity of the Global LEI System. 

GLEIF also makes available the technical infrastructure to provide, via an open data license, access to the full global LEI repository free of charge to users.