This section provides answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) and the Global LEI System.

The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a 20-digit, alphanumeric code that connects to key reference information that enables clear and unique identification of companies participating in global financial markets. The LEI is based on the ISO standard 17442 developed by the International Organization for Standardization.

More information is available Here.

In 2011, the Group of Twenty called on the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to provide recommendations for a global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) and a supporting governance structure. This led to the development of the Global LEI System which, through the issuance of LEIs, now provides unique identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions across the globe. The FSB emphasized that global adoption of the LEI underpins multiple “financial stability objectives” and also offers “many benefits to the private sector”.

More information on the Global LEI System is available here.

As defined in ISO 17442, the standard underlying the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), the term ‘legal entity’ 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.

It is important to distinguish between being eligible for an LEI and being required to have one. As defined in ISO standard 17442, any legal entity that enters into a financial transaction is eligible for an LEI. Any legal requirement to have an LEI will come from national financial regulators.

A list of regulatory initiatives relevant to LEI adoption is available here.

In principle, no. It should be noted however, that on 30 September 2015, the LEI Regulatory Oversight Committee published a statement clarifying the conditions under which individuals acting in a business capacity are eligible to obtain LEIs.

The statement is available here.

Yes. The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a unique identifier for any given legal entity. It is not an identifier for instruments. As a result, that legal entity will use its LEI for reporting of any type of financial transaction it enters into regardless of the asset class or when the particular asset was issued.

Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) issuers – also referred to as Local Operating Units (LOUs) – supply registration, renewal and other services, and act as the primary interface for legal entities wishing to obtain an LEI.

More information on how to get an LEI is available here.

There are two options:

  1. If an entity registers itself and/or its subsidiaries, the entity pays the registration fee for each registration. This is referred to as basic self-registration.
  2. If an entity obtains explicit permission to register a different, unrelated entity, this is referred to as assisted registration. In this case, the party performing the registration pays the fee.

It is up to that authorized party to determine whether/how they get reimbursed by the party they have assisted.

It has to be noted that the level of the fees is entirely a matter of the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) organizations listed here.

There are both an initial registration fee and an annual maintenance fee.

The content of the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) data record is referred to as the legal entity reference data. LEI owners are responsible for keeping the LEI issuing organization aware of updates to the legal entity reference data. Also, any LEI data user may challenge an LEI and/or its legal entity reference data. A challenge triggers a review of the record by the respective LEI issuing organization to determine the validity of the updated information being submitted. Verification and updates of the LEI and/or its legal entity reference data resulting from challenges are processed free of charge by the managing LEI issuer.

The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) is responsible for monitoring LEI data quality. The GLEIF data quality management program ensures that the LEI remains the industry standard best suited to providing open and reliable data for unique legal entity identification management.

More information on the GLEIF data quality management program is available here.