From 1 January 2017, all issuers which are subject to the Transparency Directive ("TD") will be required to have a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI). The TD applies to all issuers who are listed on a regulated market in the European Economic Area.
The global LEI system is part of the international response by regulatory authorities (including the G20 and the Financial Stability Board) to the global financial crisis. The LEI is designed to enable the identification and linking of parties to financial transactions in order to facilitate the management of counterparty risk and to improve transparency in financial data systems.
LEI's are global reference codes which uniquely identify each legal entity that engages in a financial transaction. Each LEI comprises a 20 digit alphanumeric code unique to the entity.
WHO NEEDS TO APPLY FOR LEI CODES?
From 1 January 2017 issuers with securities admitted to trading on a regulated market, including the Main Securities Market of the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE), and whose Home Member State under the TD is Ireland, will be requested to enter their LEI code when filing regulated information via the ISEdirect system.
This applies to:
- issuers of equity securities;
- issuers of debt securities; and
- closed ended investment funds
Open-ended funds on the Main Securities Market and issuers with securities listed/traded only on the Global Exchange Market fall outside the scope of the TD and therefore fall outside this requirement.
WHAT SHOULD ISSUERS DO NOW?
Issuers which are subject to the TD and have not yet obtained an LEI code should request a code through an appropriate Local Operating Unit (LOU) prior to 1 January 2017.
It is possible to check whether an LEI has been allocated to an entity using the search function on the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation website. https://www.gleif.org/en/lei/search/
HOW TO OBTAIN AN LEI CODE
LEIs are allocated by LOUs.
The ISE is endorsed by the Legal Entity Identifier Regulatory Oversight Committee and sponsored by the Central Bank of Ireland as a LOU.
PROCESS FOR OBTAINING AN LEI
In order to obtain a LEI code from the ISE, issuers will be required to register online at www.isedirect.ie. The ISE's online service for LEI codes is simple to use which ensures a quick, secure and easy application process.
The ISE will automatically remind you of your LEI anniversary one month prior to your renewal date.
Some organisations may require multiple codes. If you require more than 10 LEI codes, you can submit a bulk registration on www.isedirect.ie.
The cost per LEI is €180 and the ISE charge an annual renewal cost per LEI of €130.
If an issuer already has an LEI code from a pre-LOU, it should avail of the option to transfer (port) that LEI code from another pre-LOU free of charge.
The ISE also provides a discount for bulk orders (10 or more codes) of €120 per code.
Please note that all prices referenced above exclude VAT.
WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU NEED TO APPLY?
When applying for a LEI code the following information is relevant:
- Does the legal entity already have a LEI code?
- Official name of the legal entity » Legal entity address
- Legal jurisdiction
- Company registration number
- VAT number (if it is an EU legal entity incorporated outside of Ireland)
- Signed letter of authorisation (PDF) if applying on behalf of another entity
This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.