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LEI deadline approaching for SMSF traders

By Sarah Kendell
September 10 2019
1 minute read
Chris Donohoe
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SMSFs who trade in non-exchange-traded instruments such as CFDs and foreign exchange will need to obtain a legal entity identifier (LEI) number by the end of September, with ASIC moving to enforce global regulatory standards on Australian traders, according to APIR Systems.

The financial services infrastructure provider’s chief executive, Chris Donohoe, said the new LEI requirements would apply to SMSF trustees as well as managed funds, brokers and other traders.

“A LEI is a 20-character alphanumeric code that enables identification of legal entities participating in certain financial transactions,” Mr Donohoe said.

“Obtaining a LEI is a one-off exercise and once an SMSF obtains a LEI, the identifier stays with it for the entirety of its existence.”

Mr Donohoe said APIR has seen a spike in applications for LEIs as the 1 October deadline approaches.

“Although ASIC has extended relief on this deadline in the past, we don’t believe that another extension is likely,” he said.

He added that the LEI requirement was an example of rules in one jurisdiction having an impact on other major financial services markets as the regulatory system became increasingly standardised.

“In recent years, we have witnessed an evolution in the way coding systems are used in the financial services industry — once seen as a useful way to categorise and monitor financial products, they are now an integral part of the compliance system,” Mr Donohoe said.

“As global regulatory harmony increases, and cross-border investing is facilitated, common standards and language need to be in place internationally for the system to work. The requirement for LEI registration is the latest example of this.”