What is an LEI?

The Legal Entity Identifier (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.
You will find below information on the structure of LEI codes, the components of the reference data associated to each LEI and the definition of entities eligible to obtain an LEI.

Structure of LEI

*The LEI definition currently relies on a standard published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) on 30 May 2012 (ISO 17442:2012, Financial Services - Legal Entity Identifier (LEI)).

The number allocation scheme was further specified in Annex 2 of the Financial Stability Board's third progress note on the Global LEI Initiative on 24 October 2012:

Characters 1-4: A four character prefix allocated uniquely to each Local Operating Unit (LOU) issuing LEIs. This prefix identifies (except for LEIs issued before 30 November 2012) the LOU that first issued the LEI and contributes to avoiding that different LOUs would assign the same LEI. However, the entity might have subsequently ported the maintenance of its LEI to a different LOU.

Characters 5-6: Two reserved characters set to zero.

Characters 7-18: Entity-specific part of the code generated and assigned by LOUs according to transparent, sound and robust allocation policies.

Characters 19-20: Two check digits as described in the ISO 17442 standards. The check digit scheme follows ISO/IEC 7064 (MOD 97-10) and contributes to avoiding typing errors.

What is the cost of obtaining an LEI?

An entity that applies for an LEI should pay an initial allocation fee of R2,200 exclusive of VAT and an annual maintenance fee of R1,225 exclusive of VAT to STRATE. Part of these fees will be passed on by STRATE to the Global LEI Foundation. The fees may be reviewed in the future.