Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI)?
Until recently, there was no standardising system at international level that would allow legal units and units participating in financial markets to be identified completely and in a uniform manner. This is why, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, at the Los Cabos summit meeting in June 2012, the G20 approved the introduction of a global identification system for companies on the financial markets - the Global Legal Entity Identifier System (GLEIS). This makes risks easier to manage and control for both the private sector and public authorities.
The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is based on the ISO standard 17442 composed of the following information:
Characters 1-4: Prefix of relevant LEI issuer (LOU) that issued the LEI. All LEIs issued via Swiss LEI begin with the four-digit prefix 5493.
Characters 5-18: Part of the code specific to legal entity with no embedded information.
Characters 19-20: Two check digits as described in the ISO norm 17442.
Further information on the LEI can be found on the LEI ROC (www.leiroc.org) or the GLEIF (www.gleif.org) websites.
What are the advantages of the LEI?
A single and global system for the identification of legal entities is expected to reduce costs for businesses as well as for the entire financial market. Furthermore, it will improve risk management and encourage transparency on the financial markets.
This is thanks to a reduction in the number of mistakes made during business transactions but also due to lower costs in data matching and maintenance when reporting to regulating authorities. Being able to unambiguously identify contractual partners also reinforces important business processes and reduces risks incurred by businesses.
Who needs an LEI?
The requirement for you to have an LEI depends on national and supranational authorities. Currently LEI are required primarily in the United States under the Dodd-Frank Act and in the European Union in line with requirements according to the EMIR and AIFM directive requirements.
Since the 1st of January 2016 in Switzerland, the LEI has been part of the requirements introduced with the Financial Market Infrastructure Act of 19 June 2015 (SR 958.1 - Finfra G) regarding derivatives trading (see. Appendix 2 of the Ordinance of 25 November 2015 on Finfra G (FMIO) regarding the use of the LEI when reporting derivatives transactions to the transactions register.
Currently, Swiss LEI can provide LEIs for 203 jurisdictions as a registration agent.
Who can apply for a LEI via Swiss LEI?
An LEI can be Legal through a process known as Self-Registration. The following conditions must be met in order to register an entity as the primary party:
The person requesting an LEI is an employee of the firm for which the registration is being requested, or are currently an employee of the firm which has controlling interest over the entity being registered.
The person requesting an LEI is authorized by the firm to register for an LEI.
An LEI can also be Legal via Assisted Registration by a third party that is not associated with the entity being assigned an LEI, provided that the entity being assigned an LEI has given explicit permission for the third party to do so - more information can be found in Swiss LEI's Terms and Conditions.
How much does an LEI cost and how can I pay?
LEIs are issued in accordance with GLEIF regulations on a cost-covering basis only. A list of current prices is available on Swiss LEI's fee schedule.
Via an online pay service (Stripe) using a credit card. This option allows the validation process to start straight after the payment has been confirmed.
Via a bank transfer (payment by invoice). Note that this option requires the payment to be confirmed on the bank account before the validation process can start.
How do I apply for one or more LEIs?
Create a user account on Swiss LEI (www.swisslei.ch) with a user name and password and then order one or more LEIs online.
As long as an LEI manager has the necessary authorisation, multiple LEIs can be requested in the same order.
A bulk service is available by filling in the Excel template and sending it to email@example.com. Note that this option is reserved to requests of 5 or more LEI registration or renewals.
What documents and credentials do I have to submit with the LEI application?
All documents and credentials can be uploaded during the application process as attachments.
If the LEI manager making the application has signing authority themselves, proof of identity must be attached to the application (scan/photo of an ID card or passport). If the signature is a joint one, please attach a copy of the other person’s proof of identity.
If the business is part of a multicorporate enterprise and associated with a direct or ultimate parent company, Swiss LEI also needs at least one document confirming the existence of this association. This could be a consolidated annual report, for example. It is important that all associated businesses are mentioned by name in such a document.
What information is published about the company?
The following data is published in connection with each LEI:
Legal entity's official name
Legal domicile address
Date first LEI issued
Date of latest updates to information saved
LEI renewal date
Any legal entity wishing to receive an LEI or renew its present one, must also indicate its business relationships in the section “relationship Information”. If the business has a direct (and ultimate) parent company, this information is be published too.
Level 2 Data: Reporting Exceptions Format and in the publication of the ROC Oversight Committee (Ch. 3.3.1).
How long will it take before I receive my LEI?
Once record validation is completed, the record will have an LEI assigned and published by the
Swiss LEI provides a premium LEI service for those needing an expedited LEI turnaround. This service offers an "in by 10am GMT and out by 5pm GMT" LEI registration option. Simply select "Same Day" on the checkout page; see the Payment section for additional terms and conditions of this offer. Fulfilment timeframes are subject to volume.
What information is checked prior to the issue of an LEI?
The LOU validation team performs a two-stage validation check for all requests. Checks will be made for duplication, data accuracy and data formatting. The record may be accepted, corrected or set to duplicate status.
To ensure a high degree of data quality and that core principles are renewed, all LEI registration requests are independently validated against public sources prior to assignment of an LEI. These sources will vary depending on entity type and jurisdiction but can include national company registries, filings held by regulators and central banks, stock exchange listings and the fund prospectus.
A record will be flagged as a duplicate if it is identified as pertaining to a legal entity that already has an LEI assigned. If a record is found to be a duplicate during the validation of a registration request, the request will be rejected and the submitter will be notified via email regarding the correct globally accepted LEI to use. No refunds will be issued. This may be necessary even if core data is not identical across the two records. Examples include:
Where the same entity has been listed twice at multiple addresses, e.g. an operating division has been Legal as well as the entity itself.
Where the same entity has been listed twice under both former and current names.
Where the same entity has been listed twice under both local language and ASCII Transliterated Legal names.
The validation team also monitors ongoing corporate actions and processing to identify data changes that are needed but have not been raised as a challenge.
My business is domiciled in a country but is also active offshore. Do I need another LEI?
No. Each legal entity receives only a single LEI that can be used worldwide.
Further LEIs are only necessary if a legally independent subsidiary is domiciled abroad and needs an LEI in connection with its financial market transactions and their reporting, for example.
When does my LEI expire and how can I renew it?
In principle, there is no time limit to an LEI. After the initial application, it is valid for 12 months and must then be renewed each year for a fee.
A yearly confirmation is necessary to ascertain that the data is up to date in order to renew the LEI's validity for another year. The confirmation is executed via the “Renew” process.
An automatic reminder is sent to the email address provided by the registered user us 30 days prior to expiry and again 7 days prior to expiry.
My data is (no longer) correct. What should I do?
As a third party providing updates to a record, the record may be challenged at any time to provide updated information.
As the primary party of a record, renewing the record must be executed via the renewal process prior to the submission of any challenge requests. After a record has been renewed, it can then be challenged until the renewal period expires.
All fields are editable during the renewal process.
Indicate a duplicate record by utilizing the duplicate challenge process.
Additional assistance can be provided by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have discovered an error in another LEI. What should I do?
Challenge any LEI data set at www.GLEIF.org. The subsequent error notification will be dealt with by the relevant LOU.
Further explanations (questions and answers) about challenges can be found on the following GLEIF web page: https://www.gleif.org/en/lei-data/challenge-lei-data/questions-and-answers.
Where can I find the LEI data of my business partners and other market participants?
To search the global LEI data, use the search engine available at the GLEIF at www.gleif.org.
What do the acronyms FSB, ROC, GLEIF, GLEIS, LOU mean?
Financial Stability Board (FSB)
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) was established in 2009 and is an international body with its seat in Basel that oversees the global financial system, making recommendations and coordinating international work in the financial markets sector.
The Legal Entity Identifier Regulatory Oversight Committee - LEI ROC
The Legal Entity Identifier Regulatory Oversight Committee (ROC) is an internationally recognised committee of more than 60 authorities from around the world. The ROC brings together central banks, ministries of finance and supervisory authorities, coordinating and supervising the global LEI system (GLEIS).
The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF)
The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) is a non-profit foundation established in accordance with Swiss law (CHE-200.595.965). It is tasked with supporting the implementation and use of the LEI as well as creating the framework for LOU governance. The responsibilities of the GLEIF include coordination and supervision of the LOUs’ activities, reception from the LOUs of all applications for an LEI allocation, the issue of the LEI to the entities that have applied for one and the distribution of the information defined in ISO standard 17442:2012 to the entities to which it has allocated an LEI. The GLEIF also acts as an interface between the ROC and LOUs.
The Global Legal Entity Identifier System (GLEIS) is a global system for the standardised identification of financial market participants that was commissioned by the Financial Stability Board (www.fsb.org) on behalf of the G20.
The Local Operating Unit (LOU)
The Local Operating Unit (LOU) is a local unit that is responsible for issuing LEIs and for their registration, renewal and other services. The LOU acts as the primary interface for entities that apply for an LEI. Authorisation takes place via the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), which examines the suitability of organisations wishing to become an LEI issuer and to function as a depository for the reference data of legal entities within the framework of the Global LEI System.
Where can I found more information about LEIs?
Further information pertaining to the Global LEI System (GLEIS) can be found on the GLEIF’s web page.