The unique business identification number (UID) ensures the unequivocal identification of legal and economic units at national level. Until recently, there was no such standardising system at international level that would allow legal units and units participating in financial markets to be identified completely and in a uniform manner. This was why, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, at the Los Cabos summit meeting in June 2012, the G20 approved the introduction of a global identification system for companies on the financial markets - the Global Legal Entity Identifier System (GLEIS). This makes risks easier to manage and control for both the private sector and public authorities.
A structured numbering system is used to manage the LEI identifiers, made up of the following information:
- Characters 1-4: Prefix of relevant LEI issuer (LOU) that issued the LEI. All LEIs issued in Switzerland begin with the four-digit prefix 5067.
- Characters 5-18: Part of the code specific to legal entity with no embedded information.
- Characters 19-20: Two check digits as described in the ISO norm 17442.
Further information on the LEI can be found on the LEI ROC or the GLEIF websites.