Every legal entity will need to get a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) by 3 January 2018. Emily Deane TEP explains what LEIs are, and how to get one.
What is an LEI?
The Global Legal Entity Identification Foundation (GLEIF) has designed a system where every ‘legal entity’ will need to register and obtain a unique identification number – a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) before it can trade on financial markets in the UK after 3 January 2018.
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) requires investors who are deemed to be legal entities to obtain an LEI, which is a 20-character alphanumeric reference code that is unique to the legal entity. Legal entities include Trusts (but not Bare Trusts), Companies (Public and Private), Pension Funds (but not Self-invested Personal Pensions), Charities and Unincorporated Bodies that are parties to financial transactions.
Do trusts need one?
Bare trusts have been excluded from the requirement to obtain an LEI, but all other trusts will be obliged to obtain one if they are parties to financial transactions. In the case of discretionary trusts which have legal restrictions and cannot disclose trust details, the LSE will accept a validation from the trust itself and will not require sight of the trust deed. However, in all other cases the LSE will generally accept a scanned copy of the first couple of pages of the trust deed in the same way that many banks do for AML compliance.
Entities other than trusts are obliged to provide information such as their official registry details and business address. All LEI data will be consolidated in one database in an effort to improve global entity identification and standardisation.
What if I don’t apply?
If the LEI has not been obtained by 3 January 2018 then investment firms will not be able to provide the legal entity with investment services. The legal entity itself is ultimately responsible for obtaining the LEI, but some investment firms may agree to apply for the LEI on behalf of their legal entity clients. The LSE has produced a draft format (pdf) which will be acceptable in order to transfer the application authority from the entity to a third party such as a management company.
The LSE will charge an initial allocation cost of GBP115 + VAT and annual maintenance cost of GBP70 + VAT per LEI.
How do I register?
Registration for individual LEI allocation requests started on 5 August 2013. You can request your LEI via the link below, and there are two user guides to help you:
More information can be found on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website: