Thanks for all the above, folks. Very useful.
I too found out about LEI through a stockbroker mentioning it when writing me on another compliance matter. I am a trustee of discretionary trusts (both with UTRs, both with online hmrc SA account for paying tax). Both are “small”, one is being wound up so will not be affected by LEI. Stockbroker laughingly described LEI charge as “small”.
I wish to state the obvious. I suspect you are all aware and too polite to state it. The LEI is a rip-off for any “entity” (such as a discretionary trust) where the total assets are “small”. Why is there not a minimum size cut off whereby “small” entities are not required to have an LEI? Say £1m. Or £500,000. Or £250,000 would be more than adequate for me. Even the ill conceived and abandoned probate fees alteration proposals admitted it was wrong to charge “small” estates a probate fee. Charging £115 + VAT (and I get no benefit for the VAT) and then £90 + VAT per annum is a rip-off. It is a disgrace and it is picking on trustees.
And what is LEI for? Supposedly to ensure global financial system stability. So how is a trustee selling £7k worth of UK listed stock a year possibly going to destabilise the global financial system? I should not pay for other people’s inabilities to play by the rules. Along with online TRS (another debacle) the LEI seems to be deliberately aimed at stopping trustees from being trustees. And if professionals have to administer LEI and TRS for slightly larger clients, those clients will be put off as well, because it just ain’t worth the candle.
It appears to me that LEI will be required for any transaction on a stock exchange. So, to answer some points above, one way around LEI would be for trustees to restructure collective trust assets (where possible) so that they are OEICS held directly with the fund manager. Trustee (or practitioner acting for trustee) then deals with fund manager via telephone/online directly and fund manager buys/sells OEIC shares at a forward price with no stock exchange involved. At least that is how I see it: I thoroughly accept you may know better than me and know why this will not work.
I have emailed LSE complaining about the rip-off (£115 for a number?) nature of LEI and not had a reply. What a surprise. And I can only purchase an LEI through LSE. If I want to trade infrequently (say once every three years) that is a £115 + VAT charge every year I trade. Not acceptable. Government should be encouraging people to take risk and teaching people how to be responsible for their own financial futures: instead costs and impediments are increasingly put in the individual’s and trustee’s way, discouraging them from taking control of their own financial futures. What is wrong with hanging criminals rather than creating unacceptable impediments to the law abiding classes, such as trustees?
“Money laundering” and other such excuses are red herrings. It wasn’t ME who got fined hundreds of millions or billions for gun running, drug smuggling, libor fixing, PPI miss-selling and others: IT WAS THE BANKS. So why do I have to pay for a number (I have no problem with being identified by any bona fide authority) to protect the stability of the global financial system when I am clearly not a threat to the stability of the global financial system?
I thought a “small” charge would be a one-off charge in region of £5.
Any input gratefully received.
tmbrian (angry trustee)