Legal Entity Identifier is a global identifier designed for unique, trustful, and unambiguous identification of legal entities participating across global markets. Simply, LEI is a 20-character code based on ISO 17442. LEI code provides two basic information about a legal entity: ‘Who is who’ and ‘who owns whom’
Structure of the LEI code for European Central Bank: 549300DTUYXMJXZNY75
The number allocation scheme was specified in Annex 2 of the Financial Stability Board’s third progress note on the Global LEI Initiative on 24 October 2012:
- Characters 1-4 [ 5493]: The first four-character prefix allocation is unique to each Local Operating Unit (LOU) issuing LEIs. This prefix identifies (except for LEIs issued before 30 November 2012) the LOU that first issued the LEI and contributes to avoiding that different LOUs would assign the same LEI. However, the entity might have subsequently ported the maintenance of its LEI to a different LOU. Refer, GLEIF’s search feature to verify which LOU is maintaining an LEI (“Managing LOU” field) and go to this LOU’s website to update the reference data of the entity or certify that it is still up-to-date.
- Characters 5-6  : Two reserved characters set to zero.
- Characters 7-18 [DTUYXMJXZNY ]: Entity-specific part of the code generated and assigned by LOUs according to transparent, sound and robust allocation policies.
- Characters 19-20 : Two check digits to avoid typing errors. The check digits are described in the ISO 17442 standards. The check digit scheme follows ISO/IEC 7064 (MOD 97-10) contributes to avoiding typing errors.
As specified in ISO 17442:2012, the reference data stored in the LEI data base for each entity includes:
- Official name
- Address of legal formation
- First LEI assignment date
- Last updated date of LEI
- Expiration date of LEI, if applicable
- Reason for expiry. If applicable, display the acquired or merged entity’s LEI
- Official business registry where the foundation of the legal entity is mandated to be recorded on formation of the entity, where applicable
- The reference in the official business registry to the registered entity, where applicable.
For the stability of global financial systems, regulators and investors required transparent information about entities crossing the boundaries of markets, countries, states and region, especially after the 2008 meltdown. This realization led G20 forum commission the FSB (Financial Stability Board). FSB formed LEI ROC in 2012. One year later LEI ROC, as part of FSB founded GLEIF, the organization dedicated to implement LEI system.
- Authorities of any juris dictation or financial sector and market participants in the following ways:
- Finding and evaluating systemic risk to maintain financial stability
- Conducting market surveillance and enforcements
- Developing accurate financial data for resolution activities, reporting and other regulatory purposes
- Private organizations to managed risks, increase operational efficiencies and appropriately determine risk exposures and other needs.
- Compliance officers seeking derivatives reporting in the banking sector, securities issuance, investment holdings for insurance, funds and credit registers.
The LEI ROC (Regulatory Oversight Committee)’s objective is to promote the use and scope of Global LEI System among public and private sectors.
Established in Jan 2013, LEI ROC is a group of 71 public authorities with full membership and 19 observers from more than 50 countries.
The ROC is chaired since 1 August 2017 by Michael Ritter, Director, Head of Central Credit Register, Deutsche Bundesbank. He is assisted by two Vice-Chairs: Joseph Tracy, Executive Vice-President, Chief of Staff’s Office, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and representative on the ROC of the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS) and Nanda Dave, Chief General Manager, Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, Reserve Bank of India.
|US Regulatory Boards||Member Representative of LEI ROC|
|Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System||William Tracy|
|Department of the Treasury||Matthew Reed, executive committee|
|Commodity Futures Trading Commission||Richard Mo, executive committee|
|Office of the Comptroller of the Currency||David Barfield|
|Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation||Alan Deaton|
|Securities and Exchange Commission||Mike Willis, executive committee|
|Consumer Financial Protection Bureau||Linda Powell|
|USA||Federal Reserve Bank of New York|
|USA||Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board|
Local Operating Units (LOUs) are LEI issuing organizations responsible for LEI supply, registration, renewal and other services. LOUs are the primary interface for legal entities ready to obtain an LEI
A legal entity is not limited to using an LEI issuer in its own country. The legal entity can use registration services of any LOU that is accredited and qualified to validate LEI registration within its authorized jurisdiction.
LOUs make the LEIs and associated reference data available to the public and regulators free of charge and on a continuous basis.
LEI is for any legal entity engaging in financial transactions. The LEI is for companies, funds, or government entities. Definition of legal entities eligible to obtain an LEI from LEI ROC site is:
The term “legal entities” includes, but is not limited to, unique parties that are legally or financially responsible for the performance of financial transactions or have the legal right in their jurisdiction to enter independently into legal contracts, regardless of whether they are incorporated or constituted in some other way (e.g. trust, partnership, contractual). It excludes natural persons, but includes governmental organizations and supranationals.”
Contact a LOU in your jurisdiction or a LEI ROC Endorsed Pre-LOU. See the table below for more details.