The process for assigning Legal Entity Identifiers is causing conflict on the global regulatory scene.

First, what is an LEI? It’s a code for financial institutions. Dodd-Frank mandated them as a step in setting useful, consistent data standards so that regulators can see big picture trends in risk.

OK, but who will assign them? That part is getting complicated.

"The dispute — which pits the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on one side against international regulators, academics and nonfinancial companies — has raised concerns that the DTCC could seek to influence on the LEI process in ways that benefit itself or its organizers — giant U.S. financial institutions, writes American Banker's Jeff Horwitz.

26,000 "CFTC interim compliant identifiers" have been assigned so far. But members of the LEI Implementation Group "want to leave open the possibility in which local entities have the capacity to issue LEIs on their own,” writes Horwitz. "Such an approach could encourage the LEIs' broader adoption, say people familiar with the group's thinking."

On the other hand: "Whatever it takes to get it done, we should all swallow hard and do," says Mike Atkin of the Enterprise Data Management Council.

For the full piece see "Global Risk Management Initiative Threatened by Arcane Dispute" (may require subscription).