ISO 17442 – Standard for LEI code structure

The International Organization For Standardization (ISO) is a global, independent, non-governmental standard development organisation, composed of representatives from the national standards organisations of member countries. These standards are formulas for doing something- they can be about making products, managing processes, or delivering services – covering a vast range of activities.

ISO 17442: The LEI code structure

The Global Legal Entity Identifier System (GLEIS) is designed to uniquely and unambiguously identify participants in financial transactions.

The ISO 17442 standard defines a set of attributes or legal entity reference data essential to identification. The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) code is neutral, without embedded intelligence or country codes that could create unnecessary complexity for us, the users.

The LEI is designed for automated processing. It can also be conveniently used in other media interchange when appropriate.

The four fundamental principles that underlie LEI are:

  1. It is a global standard.
  2. A single, unique identifier will be assigned to each legal entity.
  3. It is supported by high data quality.
  4. It is a public good, available free of charge to everyone.

Once a legal entity has obtained an LEI, it will be published with the related LEI reference data. This means the complete data on the entire LEI population is publicly available to any interested party for unrestricted use.

ISO 17442 standard – reference data

The ISO 17442 standard specifies the minimum reference data which must be provided for each LEI:

  • The official name of the legal entity, as recorded in the official registers.
  • The registered address of that legal entity.
  • The country of formation.
  • The codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions.
  • The date of the first LEI assignment, the date of the last update of the LEI information, and the date of expiry (if applicable).

LEI code format

The LEI is always a unique 20-digit alphanumeric code that follows the structure laid out below.

Characters 1-4 The LEI code example shows that the first four digits are the Local Operating Unit (LOU) Identifier. This identifies the source from where the LEI code was issued.

Characters 5-6 The following two are the LEI reserved digits. In every LEI code format, they always remain 0,0.

Characters 7-18 This Entity Identifier section of the LEI code is unique and different for every Legal Entity. The Alphanumeric section can identify each registered trader on the Global database.

Characters 19-20 The final two digits check whether the legal entity number is compliant as outlined by the ISO 17442 standard, as shown in the sample LEI above.

ISO 17442 – Standard for LEI code structure

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