What is an LEI?
Legal Entity Identifiers are unique 20-digit codes that identify each legal entity that is party to a transaction. All market participants including clients and counterparties are required to have an LEI in order to trade in a broad range of financial transactions across all asset classes, including but not limited to swaps, derivatives, stocks, bonds, futures, and all other securities and debt instruments. Each fund, sub-fund and counterparty must secure their unique LEI, store them in their reporting system and maintain the necessary procedures to recertify its LEI annually to ensure the data is accurate.
Where are LEIs required?
Financial regulators in the United States including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission, already require the LEI in reports, as do regulators in Canada, Europe, Australia, India and Singapore. The European Union enacted the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) in 2018 requiring legal entities that execute trades to secure Legal Entity Identifiers (LEIs) in order to maintain access to European financial markets.