The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is unique global identifier of legal entities participating in financial transactions. These can be individuals, companies or government entities that participate in financial transaction. The identifier is used in reporting to financial regulators and all financial companies and funds are required to have an LEI.
The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a 20-character, alpha-numeric code based on the ISO 17442 standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It connects to key reference information that enables clear and unique identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions. Each LEI contains information about an entity’s ownership structure and thus answers the questions of 'who is who’ and ‘who owns whom’. Simply put, the publicly available LEI data pool can be regarded as a global directory, which greatly enhances transparency in the global marketplace.
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has reiterated that global LEI adoption underpins “multiple financial stability objectives” such as improved risk management in firms as well as better assessment of micro and macro prudential risks. As a result, it promotes market integrity while containing market abuse and financial fraud. Last but not least, LEI rollout “supports higher quality and accuracy of financial data overall”.
The publicly available LEI data pool is a unique key to standardized information on legal entities globally. The data is registered and regularly verified according to protocols and procedures established by the LEI Regulatory Oversight Committee.