The LEI is a unique identifier consisting of a 20-character
alpha-numeric code, which allows for the identification of legally
independent entities across global financial markets. The Global
LEI System was a G20 commitment towards "the creation of a
global legal entity identifier which uniquely identifies parties to
financial transactions". The Global LEI System is therefore an
international initiative and is not just limited to the European
LEIs are issued by Local Operating Units ('LOUs') of the
Global LEI System. LOUs are the utilities endorsed by the
Regulatory Oversight Committee ('ROC')1, or
accredited by the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation
('GLEIF') under ROC oversight, to provide LEI registrations
to registrants and other services.
The establishment of a Global LEI System is critical to
improving measurement and monitoring of systemic risk. Furthermore,
establishing a uniform system for the identification of legal
entities reduces costs not only for individual companies but for
the global market.
Application of LEIs
The use of LEIs is already required or recommended under a
number of European regulations such as: the European Market
Infrastructure Regulation ('EMIR'), whereby counterparties
falling within the scope of EMIR are required to report the details
of their transactions and an LEI is required for the proper
identification in this context; the Capital Requirements Regulation
('CRR'); and the Central Securities Depositories Regulation
The LEI is also mentioned in the Technical Standards pertaining
to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive
('AIFMD'). Furthermore, the LEI will also be required under
the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation
('MiFID II'/ 'MiFIR') framework.
It is appropriate to reiterate that this identifier is not
limited to European legislation, but extends across the globe. For
an overview of the current and proposed regulatory activities in
every worldwide jurisdiction which require or request the use of
the LEI please click the following link.
Obtaining an LEI
One may apply for an LEI code through any of the LOUs which are
endorsed by the ROC. More information on how to obtain an LEI code,
as well as the list of endorsed LOUs can be found by clicking the
Considering the number of regulatory activities requiring the
use of LEIs, the Authority strongly recommends that legal entities,
who have not yet obtained an LEI code, apply for their LEI
irrespective of or possibly in advance of any regulatory
requirement. Obtaining an LEI would contribute to and facilitate
many financial stability objectives, including enhanced supervisory
convergence and high-quality, reliable and comparable data.
It is appropriate to note that failure to obtain an LEI code may
result in non-compliance with regulatory requirements, possibly
leading to a regulatory breach on the part of the respective legal
1 The Regulatory Oversight Committee is a group of over
70 public authorities from more than 40 countries established in
January 2013 to coordinate and oversee a worldwide framework of
legal entity identification, the Global LEI System.
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