The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) has been set up by regulatory authorities [including the G20 and the Financial Stability Board] to address the global financial crisis. The LEI is designed to enable the identification and linking of parties to financial transactions in order to manage counterparty risk. 

The LEI is a 20-digit reference code to uniquely identify legally distinct entities that engage in financial transactions and associated reference data. Two fundamental principles of the LEI code are:

  • Uniqueness: an LEI is assigned to a unique entity. Once assigned to an entity, and even if this entity has for instance ceased to exist, a code should never be assigned to another entity.
  • Exclusivity: a legal entity that has obtained an LEI cannot obtain another one. Entities may port the maintenance of their LEI from one operator to another. The LEI remains unchanged in the process.

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