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#Legal Entity Identifier (LEI)

Why do you need a Legal Entity Identifier?

Thursday 31/05/2018
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As from 3 January 2018, every legal entity that buys or sells financial instruments must have a Legal Entity Identifier or LEI.

​​​​​​​Legal Entity Identifier

A LEI is a 20-digit alpha-numeric code enabling quick identification of legal entities that are active on the (international or local) financial markets. The LEI enables regulators to quickly detect system risks.

Registration and reporting by investment companies

Investment companies who trade in financial instruments must no later than at the end of the following working day report the full and accurate details of their transactions to the competent authorities on the basis of the LEI. One of the aspects to be reported is the identity of the principal. If the principal is a natural person then the national registry number is used. If the principal is a legal entity then the LEI is used.

The following financial instruments and transactions are targeted:

  • financial instruments admitted to trading or traded on a trade venue or for which a request for admission to trading has been made;
  • financial instruments where the underlying is a financial instrument traded on a trading venue;
  • financial instruments where the underlying is an index or a basket composed of financial instruments traded on a trading venue;
  • the purchase of a financial instrument;
  • the signing of a derivative contract;
  • the increase of the notional amount of a derivative contract;
  • the sale of a financial instrument;
  • the liquidation of a derivative contract;
  • the decrease of the notional amount of a derivative contract.

 

Practical details

Legal entities may obtain a LEI from a LEI issuing body. Currently the following LEI issuing organisations are located in Belgium: GS1 Belgium & Luxembourg, Xerius and Acerta.

Costs for initial registration vary from € 79 to € 89. Renewals cost between € 49 and € 59.

Banks or investment companies may apply for a LEI for their clients using a proxy. Clients may contact their banks to see whether they provide this service.

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Bert Lutin
Bert Lutin
Partner Tax & Legal Services