As from 1st January 2018, all legal entities which engage in certain financial transactions and listed financial instruments such as shares, bonds, warrants, amongst others, must apply for a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) code, which is a requirement by the European MiFID II directive.
An LEI is a 20-digit, alpha-numeric code that is based on the ISO 17442 standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It relates to main reference information that enables clear identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions. The publicly available LEI data pool can be regarded as a global directory which enhance transparency in the global marketplace as well as it supports higher quality and accuracy of financial data overall.
In addition, a global LEI system will provide long-term benefits to companies by clearly identifying their customers and improving internal risk management. The LEI brings along additional data relative to the company such as listed below:
- Official name of the legal entity;
- Registry name and registry number;
- Legal form of the company;
- Registered office of the headquarters;
- ISO country code;
- Date of first issue of the LEI;
- Date of the last change of the saved information; and
- Due date of the next LEI renewal.
An LEI can be applied through a Local Operating Unit (LOU) and MITCO may assist in the application of an LEI.