RegSol Blog

Legal Entity Identifiers for Passporting Retail Intermediaries

June 2022

From 1st July 2022, retail intermediaries that carry out cross border business in an EU Member State are required to have a Legal Entity Identifier (‘LEI’) – in line with EIOPA Guidelines. This applies to retail intermediaries currently availing of an EU passport, and to any retail intermediaries intending to passport in the future.

What is an LEI?

An LEI number is a global reference code which uniquely identifies a legal entity. It is a unique a 20-digit global code which enables every legal entity that is party to a financial transaction to be identified in any jurisdiction. The code is assigned to that legal entity for its entire life although it needs to be renewed on an annual basis.

The identification system was introduced in response to the global financial crisis in the 2000s and the LEI codes allow for unambiguous identification of the legal entities, avoiding inconsistency and ambiguity of identification by national codes or by their name.

How to Obtain LEI / Annual Renewal

Retail intermediaries notifying the Central Bank of Ireland of an intention to passport will be required to provide an LEI as part of the Passport Notification Form.

LEI codes are issued through a Local Operating Unit (‘LOU’) accredited by the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (‘GLEIF’) which is responsible for monitoring LEI data quality. A legal entity is not limited to using a LEI issuer in its own country; instead, it can use the registration services of any LOU that is accredited and qualified to validate LEI registrations within its authorised jurisdiction(s). A list of all LOUs may be found here.

Each legal entity is required to recertify its LEI annually to ensure the data is correct.