Frequently asked questions
What are LEI codes?
A Legal Entity Identifier (or LEI) is a 20-character code used to uniquely identify a company engaging in a to finansial transactions.
As of 3 Januar 2018, all companies in the European Union must have an LEI code in order to buy or sell stocks and bonds. A LEI has been required when trading derivatives since 1 November 2017.
Who is behind the LEI system?
The LEI system was initiated by the G20 countries in 2009.
LEIs are issued by Local Operating Units (LOU) that are accredited by the non-profit Global Legal Identifier Foundation (GLEIF). The GLEIF publishes records for all registered companies in the Global LEI Index. The data is made publicly available on their website.
The GLEIF is overseen by the Regulatory Oversight Committee (LEI ROC) – a group of 90 public authorities (mostly central banks) from more than 50 countries.
Who needs an LEI code?
Company, trusts etc. registered in the European Union must have an LEI, if they wish to buy or sell stocks, bonds, derivates etc. after 3 January, 2018. Your bank is required to register your LEI before executing your trade orders, so they will be able to tell you, if you need one.
Other juristions only use LEI codes for certain industries, especially in the financial sector.
How do I get an LEI code?
LEI codes are issued by a Local Operating Unit (LOU). There are currently only 30 LOUs, and most of them are only accredited for a handful of countries.
Using this website you can easily see which LOUs are accredited in each country, and which is the cheapest. Choose an issuer and complete the registration on the issuer’s website.
Which LEI issuer should I choose?
Recommendation: Use the cheapest issuer for your country that accepts credit card payments.
There is no difference in the LEIs issued by cheap or expensive LOUs. However, the issuers may differ with respect to e.g. the user-friendliness of the application processes, the languages supported in their communication, the payment methods accepted, and the processing time.
Most people will probably prefer an issuer that accepts payment with credit cards, unless they are familiar with international bank transfers, or the issuer is registered in their own country.