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ISO Publishes New Legal Entity Identifier Standard


U.S. Leadership Plays a Key Role in Advancing Activity

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has released a new International Standard for the financial services industry designed to enable the accurate and unambiguous identification of entities engaged in financial transactions. ISO 17442:2012, Financial services - Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), is intended to meet the data collection and analysis needs of national and global regulators in their responses to problems arising from the world financial crisis.

ISO 17442:2012 was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 68, Financial services. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) holds the Secretariat for ISO TC 68, with the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X9 serving as Secretary. ASC X9 has also been designated by ANSI as the accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator for TC 68.

"The work on the LEI is exemplary in providing an international solution through standards," said ISO TC 68 chair Karla McKenna. "ISO TC 68 brought the relevant communities and stakeholders together, looked across industry lines on the scope and coverage of the LEI standard, and built the necessary consensus to deliver ISO 17442, demonstrating the responsiveness and value of the ISO process."

The standard describes a 20-character alphanumeric code, as well as additional elements for reference data attributes. Key attributes of ISO 17442 include the following:

  • Enables unique identification of global entities requiring an LEI
  • Defines robust open governance of the issuance and maintenance of the LEI scheme
  • Defines an LEI that contains no embedded intelligence
  • Can be applied worldwide to support the financial services industry
  • Leverages the expertise of ISO/TC 68 in defining and maintaining identifier standards
  • Is persistent
  • Defines a scheme that is scalable and free from assignment limitations

ISO 17442:2012 is available for download on the ANSI Webstore.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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