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RBI Directs Large Borrowers to Obtain Unique Identifier Code

Published on November 06, 2017
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to make it mandatory to obtain Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) code.


  • It is for corporate borrowers having aggregate exposure of Rs. 5 crore and above from any bank.
  • The implementation of LEI will improve the quality and accuracy of financial data for better risk management. 
  • RBI has directed the banks to motivate large borrowers to obtain LEI for their parent entity as well as all subsidiaries and associates.

What is LEI?


  • It is a 20-digit LEI code which is considered as a global standard to identify parties undertaking transactions internationally, post the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.
  • In India, LEI code is issued by Legal Entity Identifier India.
  • Legal Entity Identifier India works as a local operating unit for the global reference number. 
  • The code will be captured in CRILC, which is Central Repository of Information on Large Credits. This decision will help in the assessment and monitoring of aggregate borrowing by entity/ groups.
  • It was developed the G20 in response to the inability of financial institutions to identify organisations uniquely.
  • It tracks the their financial transactions in different national jurisdictions
  • The first LEIs were issued in December 2012.

Code Structure


  • The technical specification for LEI is ISO 17442.
  • An LEI consists of a 20-character alphanumeric string, with the first 4 characters identifying the Local Operating Unit (LOU) that issued the LEI. 
  • Characters 5 and 6 are reserved as '00'. Characters 7-18 are the unique alphanumeric string assigned to the organisation by the LOU. 
  • The final 2 characters are checksum digits.
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