A Legal Entity Identifier (or LEI) is a 20-character "identifier that identifies distinct "legal entities that engage in financial transactions. It is defined by ISO 17442. Natural persons are not required to have an LEI; they’re eligible to have one issued, however, but only if they act in independent business capacity. The LEI is a global standard, designed to be "non-proprietary data that is freely accessible to all. As of October 2017, over 630,000 legal entities from more than 195 countries have now been issued with LEIs.
The LEI system was developed by the "G20, in response to the inability of financial institutions to identify organisations uniquely, so that their financial transactions in different national jurisdictions can be fully tracked. The first LEIs were issued in December 2012.
|Structure of LEI codes|
|"G.E. Financing GmbH|
|"Jaguar Land Rover Ltd|
|"British Broadcasting Corporation|
The technical specification for LEI is "ISO 17442. An LEI consists of a 20-character "alphanumeric string, with the first 4 characters identifying the Local Operating Unit (LOU) that issued the LEI. Characters 5 and 6 are reserved as '00'. Characters 7-18 are the unique alphanumeric string assigned to the organisation by the LOU. The final 2 characters are "checksum digits.
The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) is not directly issuing Legal Entity Identifiers, but instead it delegates this responsibility to Local Operating Units (LOUs). These LEI issuers supply different services. Local Operating Units can have different prices for the registration services they offer. GLEIF is responsible for monitoring LEI data quality.
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