The LEI or legal entity identifier is a global 20-character alphanumeric code for identifying legal entities. Each LEI number is unique: it is assigned to each legal entity once and may not be assigned to any other entity. The Legal Entity Identifier is an exclusive identifier, as each legal person is only issued a single legal entity identifier.
The Legal Entity Identifier number does not replace the national registry code of a company.
The legal entity identifier connects a legal entity to its key reference information (name, location, etc.). The legal entity identifier number enables identifying legal entities participating in global financial markets for various supervisory purposes.
For example, legal entity identifiers are already being used under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) for identifying counterparties to over-the-counter derivatives transactions. On 1 November 2017, with the application of the Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 2017/105, using an LEI number was made mandatory for reporting all derivatives’ transactions.
Since 1 January 2017, all issuers have been required to have a Legal Entity Identifier for improving access to regulatory information.
Since 3 January 2018, legal entity identifiers have been used in reporting the securities’ transactions of investment service providers to supervisory authorities for identifying customers that are legal entities. These transaction reports are used for identifying and investigating market abuse as well as for monitoring transactions and the activities of investment service providers on securities markets. The format of the report is established by an implementing regulation of the European Commission.
Since 3 January 2018, legal entities are required to have an LEI number if they carry out transactions either in a trading venue (regulated market, multilateral trading facility, etc.) or outside a trading venue in connection with securities that are admitted to trading or traded on a trading venue or for which a request for admission to trading has been made, as well as securities where the underlying is a security traded on a trading venue or an index or basket composed of securities traded on a trading venue.
Investment service providers must request customers that are legal entities to provide all information that is necessary for submitting information about transactions to supervisory authorities. Such information includes legal entity identifiers.
If a customer who is a legal entity does not provide the investment service provider with the necessary information, including an LEI code, for reporting a security transaction, the service provider will not be able to fulfil their legal reporting obligation. Consequently, the investment service provider may refuse to provide the service.
LEI code applications may be submitted to authorised LEI operators. LEI codes are issued by LOUs (Local Operating Units). Assistance in applying for an LEI code may be received from official and non-official registration agents.
Banks and investment service providers verify the validity of legal entity identifiers from the GLEIF database. As GLEIF performs database updates once per day, the legal entity identifier issued to you will be listed in the database on the following day from 14.00 CEST. For example, if your LEI code was issued today, it will be listed in the global database tomorrow from 14.00 (CEST).
The validity and information related to an LEI code can be checked from the website of the umbrella association at www.gleif.org. You can also check the validity of your legal entity identifier by using our search box.
GLEIF is an international organisation that is responsible for the functioning of the LEI code system and for monitoring legal entity identifier issuers. The headquarters of GLEIF are located in Basel, Switzerland. The website of GLEIF can be found at www.gleif.org
An LOU or Local Operating Unit is an organisation that has been authorised by GLEIF to issue LEI codes. LOUs work closely with registration agents, who help organisations apply for LEI codes.
A registration agent is a company or organisation that provides assistance in applying for LEI codes.
LEICodeAE is an LEI registration agent.
LEI codes are universal codes and are not tied to any specific country. Each LOU has its own identifier, which is contained in the first four numbers of the legal entity identifier. LEI codes are valid worldwide regardless of the LOU that issued the code.
Renewing the legal entity identifier is necessary to ensure that all information about the company connected to the LEI code is up to date. To ease the administrative burden on companies and organisations, LEI Registry allows paying for multiple annual renewals. In this case, the LEI Registry takes it upon itself to verify the information upon renewal of the LEI code for the designated period. Information updates are performed on the basis of official registry data.
LEI Registry normally issues your legal entity identifier within 1–24 hours from the moment of payment for the application (if the company submits any necessary additional documents promptly).
Yes, the LEI system is built on the principle of making the information publicly available. LEI-related company data (name, registry code, address, address of the principal office, country of registration, etc.) are accessible to everyone through the GLEIF website.
Legal entity identifiers are issued for a fee and an annual maintenance fee must be paid for the renewal of the code.
To fulfil their reporting obligation, investment service providers need their customers that are legal entities to have a valid legal entity identifier. Before carrying out any securities’ transactions, investment service providers verify the existence of a valid LEI code.