Alacra has added Global Intermediary Identifier Numbers (GIINs) to its Alacra Authority File Plus (AAF+) with a view to helping firms match the identifiers to other public and vendor proprietary identifiers.
GIINs are assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to foreign financial institutions that must comply with tax reporting requirements under the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. To date, there are about 140,000 institutions with GIINs, including banks, funds, trusts, asset managers and insurance companies, but the identifiers can be difficult to match to other entity identifiers due to issues such as inconsistent naming conventions and the inclusion of limited information covering only an entity’s name, country and GIIN code.
Alan Samuels, vice president of Alacra Reference Data Solutions, explains the potential confusion around entity names, saying: “Firms needing a GIIN self register. If they are in an English speaking country they will use English to register. Those that use other major languages register in their local language and those using complicated languages, such as Chinese or Russian, translate what they can, but not unique words. This means there is no global consistency in how the names of firms are registered and reported, making it difficult to match GIINs to other entity identifiers.”
To solve the problem, Alacra has added entities with GIINs to the latest version of AAF+, which provides access to a database of all rated, regulated and listed entities globally, as well as to entities with Legal Entity Identifiers (LEIs) and now those with GIINs. Each entity is cross-referenced to all public and vendor proprietary identifiers, allowing users to look at one identifier and see other identifiers related to a particular entity.
Alacra sources GIIN codes directly from the IRS, pulling down the latest updates automatically, cleaning the data and connecting it to the full legal name of the entity represented by the GIIN. If the entity is already rated, regulated, listed or has an LEI, the GIIN information is appended. Alacra has added available GIINs to the 200,000 rated, regulated and listed entities held in the AAF+ database, as well as about 330,000 LEIs, taking the total AAF+ entity population to about 600,000.
The company has added GIINs to AAF+ without increasing the cost of subscription to the service and has started to provide them to customers and prospects. Samuels says GIINs were added to the database in response to requests form clients that must use them for regulatory purposes. He adds: “What is exciting is not that GIINs are available, but that we have streamlined them and connected them to other identifiers. The biggest competitor to AAF+ is banks managing identifiers themselves. With a more repeatable process, we can do it faster and better, and create clean, cross-referenced and deduped data sets.”
Looking forward, Samuels says Alacra continues to invest in technology and software to improve its services, and is developing more tools for differing types of users across financial institutions. To encourage uptake, it is creating free-to-use tools for single look-ups of entity names or identifiers, and hopes this will lead to wider commercial subscriptions. It is also building web-based tools and application programming interfaces that will extend its delivery mechanisms beyond FDP files and allow clients to pull data from AAF+ directly into workflow processes. Beta versions of these tools are due to be ready by the end of this quarter or early next quarter.