Things to know about LEI numbers

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The LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) is a unique identifier for people who are legal entities or structures, such as corporations, foundations, and trusts.

What good is an LEI number if you don't need it?

If you're a corporate trader, and your company is trading with an FCA or licensed broker, you'll need to provide your LEI number to be properly identified in the broker's transaction reports to their regulator. For more info click here 

What is the source of an LEI number?

The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation is in charge of monitoring and ensuring that LEI data is of high quality.

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The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a reference code, similar to a bar code, that is used to identify a legally different entity that participates in a financial transaction across markets and jurisdictions. The LEI is a keystone for financial data - it's the first worldwide and unique entity identifier, allowing risk managers and regulators to rapidly and precisely identify parties to financial transactions. For example, a big worldwide bank may have an LEI for the parent corporation as well as an LEI for each of its legal entities that buy or sell stocks, bonds, swaps, or other financial market activities.

What is the purpose of the LEI?

When Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in September 2008, authorities and private-sector organizations were unable to identify the scope of market participants' exposure to Lehman and how the large network of market players was connected swiftly and comprehensively. The financial crisis highlighted the need for a global system to detect financial links so that regulators and private sector firms could gain a better understanding of the environment.

The creation of the global LEI system is a tremendous accomplishment that addresses these weaknesses while also providing tangible, long-term advantages to both the government and business. The adoption of the global LEI by the financial industry means that data reported to regulators and used internally for risk management will be more uniform and accessible. This will aid regulators in better analyzing and monitoring the financial system's stability and dangers. Companies will also be able to improve internal risk management and reduce expenses associated with data collection, cleansing, and aggregation, as well as submitting data to authorities.

What is the LEI and how does it work?

Each LEI is made up of a code and a set of reference data items that are used to identify a legally separate entity that engages in financial market activities. This international standard complies with the International Organization for Standardization 2020 standards, as described in ISO 17442-1:2020, Legal Entity Identifier.

The committee worked with private businesses to create the Global LEI Foundation, a central operating organization that took over operational responsibilities in late 2014. A 16-member board of directors, all of whom are from the business sector, oversees the foundation. This central operating unit's mission is to ensure that all parties involved in the LEI's implementation follow governing principles and criteria, such as reliability, quality, and uniqueness, which are critical to accomplishing the LEI's common aim of establishing "one golden standard."

LEI code registration

While filling the LEI registration form you will have to fill up a five page form each of which will ask for different information.

The first page will be about the information of the company. Where you will have to enter each and every detail about the company as asked therein. The next page will ask about the details of the holding company. On this page you will have to fill up the information about the immediate holding company of your company.

After these two pages you will have to enter details about the ultimate parent company. This is applicable only if your company is a subsidiary of a company which itself is a subsidiary of another company. 

All entering details about all the companies you will proceed to the payment page to make the payment. You have the option of making online payment or paying through a demand draft. On the document page you will have to upload all the required documents supporting the details you have entered on the previous pages.

Renewal of LEI

Once you get the LEI code it will be valid for one year after which you will need to renew it. The process of renewal can be done on the same portal. What you will have to do is to select the modify or renewal option rather than the register option.

It is obvious that any changes from the original application if needed to be done then they must be authorized. As and when you will enter the LEI code you will see that all the details are automatically appearing on the screen. At this time check all the details and make any changes you want to make.

After which you will need to select the renewal box. Then the process of payment and submission of documents will have to be done. After every step is successfully completed including the document submission, your code will be renewed and you will get the notification about the same.

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