The LEI or Legal Entity Identifier is a global 20-character alphanumeric code for identifying legal entities. Each LEI code is unique: it is assigned to each legal entity once and may not be assigned to any other entity. The LEI is an exclusive identifier, as each legal person is only issued a single LEI code.
The LEI code does not replace the national registry code of a company.
The LEI code connects a legal entity to its key reference information (name, location, etc.). The LEI code enables identifying legal entities participating in global financial markets for various supervisory purposes.
For example, LEI codes 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 code was made mandatory for reporting all derivatives’ transactions.
Since 1 January 2017, all issuers have been required to have an LEI code for improving access to regulatory information.
Since 3 January 2018, LEI codes 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 code 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 which 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 which is necessary for submitting information about transactions to supervisory authorities. Such information includes LEI codes.
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 LEI codes from the GLEIF database. As GLEIF performs database updates once per day, the LEI code 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 a LEI code can be checked from the website of the umbrella association at www.gleif.org. You can also check the validity of your LEI code by using our search box.
GLEIF is an international organisation which is responsible for the functioning of the LEI code system and for monitoring LEI code 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 list of LOUs can be found here:
A registration agent is a company or organisation that provides assistance in applying for LEI codes. For a detailed overview of registration agents, see here:
LEI Register is an official registration agent, in recognition of which it has been authorised by GLEIF to use its identifiers.
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 LEI code. LEI codes are valid worldwide regardless of the LOU that issued the code.
Renewing the LEI code 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 Register allows paying for multiple annual renewals. In this case, the LEI Register 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 Register normally issues your LEI code within 1–24 hours from the moment of payment for the application.
LEI Register issues your LEI code within 24 hours at the latest (if payment has been received and 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.
LEI codes are issued for a fee and an annual maintenance fee must be paid for the renewal of the code.
The price list of LEI Register is available here.
To fulfil their reporting obligation, investment service providers need their customers that are legal entities to have a valid LEI code. Before carrying out any securities’ transactions, investment service providers verify the existence of a valid LEI code.