What is an LEI?
An LEI is a unique 20-character alphanumeric code that identifies distinct legal entities (including charities) that engage in financial transactions, including transactions in listed investments. It is an international identifier and is not limited to the United Kingdom. The code is entered on a global database. It enables any legal entity that is party to a financial transaction such as buying and selling listed investments to be identified in any jurisdiction. Legal entities in almost 200 countries are now required to have an LEI. From 3 January 2018 UK investment managers will not be able to execute investment transactions on behalf of clients who do not have an LEI. Because the code is an international requirement, a Charity Registration Number (or any other form of UK identifier) does not qualify as an alternative.