On May 3, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued a Circular, introducing a new requirement for issuers of non-convertible securities, securitized debt instruments, and security receipts. This requirement mandates the use of Legal Entity Identifiers (LEIs), which are unique global reference numbers assigned to legal entities participating in financial transactions.
The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) serves as a standardized identification code for legal entities involved in financial transactions across different jurisdictions. LEIs are assigned to various entities, such as banks, mutual funds, trusts, special purpose vehicles, asset management companies, and other institutions engaged in financial activities. The LEI code is obtained through an application process, which involves thorough validation of the entity's information.
The introduction of the LEI code brings several benefits to organizations, including:
1. Proof of Identity: The LEI code acts as a proof of identity for a financial entity, facilitating efficient identification and verification processes.
2. Regulatory Compliance: The LEI code helps organizations comply with regulatory requirements, ensuring transparency and accountability in financial transactions.
3. Streamlined Reporting: With the LEI code, organizations can streamline their transaction reporting to Trade Repositories, enhancing data accuracy and integrity.
The structure of the LEI code follows ISO Standard 17442 and aligns with guidelines set by the Financial Stability Board (FSB). This standardized structure ensures consistency and reliability in global identification practices. Mandatory Introduction of LEI for Listed Non-Convertible Securities and Securitized Debt Instruments:
As per the SEBI circular, the LEI requirement is mandatory for issuers transacting in listed non-convertible securities, securitized debt instruments, and security receipts. The following timeline and reporting obligations apply:
1. Existing Issuers: Issuers with outstanding listed non-convertible securities as of August 31, 2023, must obtain and report the LEI code in the Centralized Database of corporate bonds by September 1, 2023.
2. New Issuers: Issuers planning to issue and list non-convertible securities on or after September 1, 2023, must report their LEI code in the Centralized Database of corporate bonds at the time of allotment of the ISIN.
Entities can obtain the LEI code from Local Operating Units (LOUs) accredited by the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF). In India, the LEI code can be obtained from Legal Entity Identifier India Ltd. (LEIIL), which is recognized by the Reserve Bank of India and accredited by GLEIF as the LOU in India. LEIIL operates under the Clearing Corporation of India Limited (CCIL).
To obtain an LEI code, entities need to provide the following documents:
1. Certificate of Incorporation/Registration Certificate
2. PAN Card proof
3. Undertaking-cum-Indemnity as specified by LEIL
4. Audited Financial Statements
5. Board Resolution as specified by LEIL or a certified true copy
The introduction of the LEI requirement by SEBI aims to enhance transparency, accountability, and regulatory compliance in the issuance and trading of non-convertible securities, securitized debt instruments, and security receipts. Issuers are required to obtain the LEI code from accredited entities, such as LEIIL, within the specified timeline to ensure seamless integration and adherence to the new regulatory framework. By implementing the LEI system, SEBI aims to strengthen the Indian financial market and foster investor confidence.