Why is an LEI number required?

A Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) number or code is required to ensure a more transparent financial market. The initiative was created after the 2008 global financial crisis, hoping to avoid any future global economic shocks of that severity. The LEI code is now essential for legal entities that operate within today’s financial system. A company’s LEI record will contain public information accessible through a global database.

Why was LEI created? 

The Global LEI System (GLEIS) was developed by the G20 in 2011 in response to the 2008 global financial crisis. This was when the need for a more transparent financial system became evident.

The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a unique number, otherwise called a code, that allows the identification of any organisation or legal entity on a worldwide database. The LEI code is a combination of 20 letters and numbers. 

Just like we citizens have some form of a national identification number, your business should now have a global identification code as well. 

What is the purpose of LEI? 

The purpose of the LEI is, therefore, simple; it helps you to recognise legal entities free of charge on a globally accessible database. This results in more security around international transactions, shortcuts to Know Your Customer (KYC) processes, and boosting transparency throughout the global financial system.

A company’s LEI record will contain public data such as their name, address, where they are registered, and whether they are a branch or owned by another parent company. You’ll be able to access the database by using the LEI Register’s search tool.

What happens if I don’t renew my LEI? 

The LEI is an ISO standard primarily required for any legal entity undertaking financial transactions or operating within today’s financial system, especially within the US, UK, or EU.

The statement “No LEI, no trade” speaks for itself. Without an LEI number, your trades will be blocked.

Currently, the legal entities that most certainly require an LEI include financial institutions such as brokerages, banks, investment & insurance companies, and credit unions. Whereas at this point, individuals are not required to have one.  

Having an LEI ensures your business complies with the 184 international regulations mandating the use of a Legal Entity Identifier worldwide. That alone will help streamline onboarding with different financial institutions.

Find out more information about who needs an LEI here.

How to obtain an LEI? 

After forming the G20 concept, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) appointed a new not-for-profit organisation, The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), to oversee it. The foundation doesn’t issue the codes but leaves them to a network of public and private companies acting as Local Operating Units (LOUs). Furthermore, to obtain an LEI code, you’ll want to reach an LEI Registration Agent.

Our role is to provide you with verified information about LEIs, process data, and manage communication between LOUs and legal entities. We understand the value of your time and have put in significant work to become the fastest, most secure global registration service provider.

Key takeaways

  • The Global LEI System was created as a reliable information source, providing unique identifiers for all entities undertaking worldwide financial transactions.
  • An LEI code is needed and can be obtained through an official LEI Registration Agent.
  • The LEI public database is free and provides authenticated information about your counterparts.
  • “No LEI, no trade.”

Obtain your LEI today

€45 /year

Complete our application process in a matter of minutes.

Apply here